LONDON – Pop Star Robbie Williams has accepted libel damages from publishers who had claimed that he was a homosexual. The exact amount that is being paid to him was not disclosed.
The defendants were MGN Limited, a company that publishes of The People and Northern & Shell PLC, the publisher of Star and Hot Stars magazines. The homosexual claim was first made by The People, which is a Sunday tabloid. Both the magazines agreed to publish immediate apologies to the British pop star and said that they would pay up the required amount. “I accept that the allegations … were untrue. The defendant apologizes to the claimant and expresses its regret for the injury and distress caused,” said Zoe Norden, a lawyer who represented the publications in the court.
Williams himself was not present in the court, but his attorney, Tom Shields QC, emphatically stated, “Mr Williams is not, and never has been, homosexual.” The alleged article was published in August last year and claimed that Robbie Williams was about to deceive the public with pretentious claims of heterosexuality.
The article titled “Robbie’s secret gay lover”, alleged that Williams had numerous sordid encounters with total strangers. “It claimed that he had enticed a stranger into a toilet at a club in Manchester where the two men performed a sex act on each other and where Mr Williams requested that stranger to engage in a further sex act,” Shields told the court.
The same allegations were printed in Star and Hot Stars magazine in September. “It was also alleged that a year later Mr Williams had tried to persuade the same man, and then that man’s friend, to engage in similar conduct at another Manchester club and that, when rebuffed, he had gone on to engage in a sexual encounter with another stranger in the streets behind the club,” Shields added.
The court also heard that the magazines were guilty of publishing untruths and would cover the legal fees incurred by Robbie Williams.