Sunday, November 09, 2003

TWEEDY: IT'S NOT OVER: Cheryl Tweedy might have hoped her tour of the softer end of the news media had been enough to re-establish her career, but it wasn't just No Rock that thought it strange that while she was apologising to fans and friends and family, she didn't find time to say sorry to Sophie Amogbokpa, the woman who she punched into weeks off work. Amogbokpa noticed too, and as a result has decided to bring a civil suit against Tweedy. As we imagine Cheryl's management team are explaining to her with diagrams and glove puppets, this is a sticky situation to be in - civil courts don't require cases to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, just on the balance of probabilities; this time round, one of the defence's strongest points - that the racially aggravated element was made up to make the case more juicy for post-judgement sale to tabloids has been weakened by Amogbokpa's repeated rejection of attempts to buy her story by the tabloids; and most ominous of all, Amogbokpa is to be represented by Imran Khan, the lawyer who represented the family of Stephen Lawrence. Should be an interesting couple of months for Cheryl, then.

She does have some brightness to cling to, though: the Box Tops for Education programme still are enthusiastically endorsing the band. We spoke to Nestle, and asked if it was perhaps kind of the wrong message to be sending to schoolkids. After a couple of weeks, we got back a sniffy email saying they were "aware of the case against Tweedy" but "no decision had been taken" - although if one was being considered, wouldn't it have been prudent to at least remove the page boasting about how Girls Aloud give "one in the eye to do-gooders" at least while the mulling was taking place? Curious that in a week when a kid got murdered in his own school, Nestle are happy to have their big education project in any way connected with someone who's just had a conviction for violence handed down.

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