The comedian Matt Lucas has accepted undisclosed damages from the Daily Star over articles published in the paper about his late former civil partner, Kevin McGee.
It was heard in the High Court that the paper had published unfounded articles alleging Mr Lucas had been placed on suicide watch and that his relationship with Mr McGee had been in trouble owing to the latter’s cocaine use.
The Express Newspapers group apologised unreservedly for any distress caused by the articles and for invasion of Mr Lucas’s privacy. The newspaper group had also agreed to cover Mr Lucas’s legal costs, according to their solicitor, Zoe Norden.
Mr Lucas’s solicitor, John Kelly, said the Little Britain star had asked the media to respect his privacy after Mr McGee had been found dead at his flat in Edinburgh. However, the Daily Star soon published the article alleging Mr Lucas had been on suicide watch. This was followed by another piece speculating on the nature of the break-up of their civil partnership. Mr Kelly added that Express Newspapers had since retracted the allegations.
Mr Lucas was not present in court, but said in a statement: “I had no choice but to bring these proceedings to protect my private life and my right to grieve in peace. . . I am just relieved that this case has been resolved and I sincerely hope this kind of intrusive reporting will now end.”
Mr Lucas and Mr McGee were civilly partnered in 2006. Mr Lucas was granted a dissolution in 2008 on the grounds of his partner’s unreasonable behavior.