Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's okay to dis Annie Lennox, says the judge

It's not often you hear a judge talking sense, but Mrs Justice Sharp has done us all a favour by kicking out an attempt to sue the Telegraph. Petra Ecclestone had been kicking up a legal rumpus because of an item in the diary:

[F]ashion designer Petra Ecclestone was quoted as saying: "I am not a veggie and I don't have much time for people like the McCartneys and Annie Lennox."

Ecclestone claimed the words were defamatory and meant she was "disrespectful and dismissive of the McCartneys and Annie Lennox to the point of being willing to disparage them publicly for promoting vegetarianism."

The judge snorted - literally - dismissively:
Justice Sharp, said "right-thinking members of society" would not think less of Ecclestone because of the quote.

So she struck out the libel claim, adding incidentally that it was irrelevant whether Ecclestone denied having made the quoted remark.

The irony of the Telegraph being saved by a sensible judge in a libel case probably won't be lost on those who have been served with libel writs from the title's proprietors, the Barclay Brothers, over the years.

Still, it's nice to know that having a bit of fun at Annie Lennox's expense is now an activity protected by law.


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