Elton John and David Furnish receive ‘significant’ libel damages over ‘dog attack’ story
Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish have accepted “significant damages” over a front page story in The Sun on Sunday that claimed their dog inflicted “Freddy Krueger-like” injuries on a girl at a play date.
The article—using the headline “Elton’s Dog Did This To My Girl”—stated that the pair’s spaniel bit the five-year old child at the musician’s Berkshire home in February 2016.
John and Furnish were not present at the High Court ruling in London on Friday (September 21).
Their solicitor Jenny Afia said that the article alleged that the girl was “subjected to a serious attack” and that the couple, who married in 2014, had “failed to make any attempt to find out how the little girl was… despite being aware of the incident.”
Afia added that John and Furnish had “made several inquiries about the girl’s welfare to her father and nanny,” adding: “Each time it was confirmed the girl was fine.”
“I am pleased to say that the newspaper has now accepted unequivocally that this allegation was false and seriously defamatory,” Afia continued.
“As a result, it has agreed now to apologise to Sir Elton John and David Furnish, and to pay significant damages as well as to reimburse their legal costs.”
The Sun on Sundayreportedly published ‘s story was on The Sun‘s website, and was picked up by multiple other newspapers, including the Evening Standard and the Mail Online.
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Jeffrey Smele, a solicitor for News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun on Sunday, said: “The defendant offers its apology to the claimants and is pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved.”
Musical legend John has previously filed a number of lawsuits against major newspapers.
In 2012, he lost a case against The Times over a series of articles the paper published on tax avoidance.
And, in 2008, the High Court ruled that a satirical column in the Guardian, which mocked John’s charity work, was not defamatory.