Elton John and husband David Furnish have accepted “significant” libel damages over a dog attack story published in a British newspaper.
In February (18), editors at The Sun on Sunday newspaper published a story captioned Elton’s Dog Did This To My Girl and reported that the Rocket Man singer’s spaniel had bit a five-year-old girl at his home in Berkshire, England, in February 2016, and left her with “Freddy Krueger-like” injuries.
The couple launched legal action against publishing company News Group Newspapers over the story, and their solicitor Jenny Afia appeared in London’s High Court on Friday (21Sep18), where she told Mr Justice Matthew Nicklin that the representatives for the company had agreed to give them significant damages and pay their legal fees.
Afia explained at the hearing how the story had claimed the girl was “subjected to a serious attack” and that the couple didn’t try to find out how she was afterwards.
“The truth is that the injuries were not serious, and the claimants, far from ignoring the incident, made several inquiries about the girl’s welfare to her father and nanny,” Afia said, according to BBC.co.uk. “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. 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.”
Jeffrey Smele, solicitor for News Group Newspapers, offered an apology to John and Furnish on behalf of its client and said the company was “pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved.”
John and Furnish, who married in 2014 and have two sons, Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five, were not present in court on Friday.