Comedian Russel Brand landed a good punch line when he obtained substantial damages from the Sun on Sunday, who claimed he had cheated on girlfriend Jemima Khan. The newspaper published an apology and paid his legal costs.
Brand was not at London’s high court for the settlement of his action against News Group Newspapers over a November 2013 story.
The paper’s publisher has apologised and agreed to pay Brand his legal costs and damages, believed to have been at least five figures. Brand has said he would put these towards “what he considers to be diverse, just and decent causes”, including the the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.
His solicitor, John Kelly, told the court that the allegation that Brand had deceived the public as well as Khan by falsely proclaiming that he was being faithful to her when in fact he was having sex with model Sophie Coady during a four-month fling was entirely without foundation and “distressing, hurtful and damaging”.
Kelly continued: “Given the prominence devoted to the story in such a high-selling newspaper, it was inevitable that the article was picked up and repeated in other media as in fact it was.
“The allegations are entirely without foundation and of course they were distressing, hurtful and damaging to the claimant [Brand].
“Following publication Mr Brand immediately wrote to the Sun on Sunday on the very day the article came out through his solicitors Harbottle & Lewis who informed the newspaper that the claims were false, that they should be withdrawn and that an apology should be published.”
According to the statement, Brand’s “distress was increased” because of the Sun on Sunday’s “initial refusal to remove the article from the newspaper’s website, or to withdraw the allegations and publish an apology”.
Soon after, Brand wrote a Guardian piece about the “pain, disruption and distress” inflicted by the Sun on him and his girlfriend.