Tuesday, December 06, 2005


... and now he's got some legal backing to shore that up. He's won undisclosed libel damages from The People, Star and Hot Stars over claims that he'd deceived the public when he neglected to mention in Feel that he'd had casual homosexual sex:

His counsel, Tom Shields QC, told the court: "Mr Williams is not, and has never been, homosexual."

The August 2004 report in The People, owned by MGN, said Mr Williams was about to deceive the public with the publication of a book, Feel, that would say he only had sex with women.

Feel was an account of the performer's life told, with Mr Williams' co-operation, by Chris Heath, who had lived alongside his subject from 2002 to 2004.

Northern & Shell published in Star and Hot Stars magazines in September 2004 claims that Mr Williams kept secret homosexual encounters.

Zoe Norden, solicitor for MGN and Northern & Shell, said: "I accept that the allegations to which my friend has referred were untrue.

"The defendant apologises to the claimant and expresses its regret for the injury and distress caused."

The publishers had also agreed to print prominent apologies and pay Mr Williams' legal costs.

The curious thing here is, of course, that had the case gone to trial Williams would have had to have demonstrated that being accused of being gay had lowered his standing in the eyes of the ordinary person in the street, or harmed his life or work in other ways.

However, the allegations that he was liar are another matter - and you;d be a hiding to nothing fighting an expensive libel action in a bid to "prove" someone was a liar or deliberately misleading the public. (This, of course, is what was at the heart of the Jason Donovan versus the Face case.) Because, after all, being called gay - when you're a man working in the pop industry - is hardly a career-shattering allegation.


Anonymous said...

You must be pretty chuffed though as it backs what you've been saying on here for months.

As long as he doesn't 'come out' at any time in the future (which, not being gay, he clearly won't) this puts an end to those cheap rumours.

Hypothetically, though, what would happen if the subject of such a case (clearly not Our Rob) were to get caught 'out' George Michael style years later. Would it be an Archer style deal for the Courts? Just wondering. Hypothetically.

Anonymous said...

Here here! Kudos Simon for your stout defence of Mr Williams with your Sword of Truth and Justice. Whilst some claimed that he was as gay as a badger, and seemed able to prove it with a slide rule, you stood firm. Others tittered and smirked, implying that our Robbie liked to play with other boys naughty bits, perhaps going as far as to kiss their lovely bottoms, but not you. You sir, are a prince amongst men, and I salute you.

Mart Hines said...

So what was this Jason Donovan vs The Face case? I'm only young, I don't know..

Anonymous said...

About 13 years ago the ruggedly heterosexual Mr Donovan sued the magazine for implying he was er, less than ruggedly heterosexual. Ironically, the same Mr Donovan led a team that were considering buying the magazine just before it went down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

Doubters may be out there still! Do not let this legal success prevent you from regularly posting on this topic just to keep those doubters at bay! You are performing a vital service. RW should pay reward you.

Jonathan said...

But didn't he announced he was gay a few years ago as part of a marketing ploy for a new album? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

You're confusing him with David Bowie. Easily done, what with Robbie's artistic stature. He's not gay, you know.

desertdamsel said...

erm... can I just say that my friend is a man and says he shagged Robbie...! it's true... apparently Robbie said that he is bi and doesn't mind which - well well well

maria ozawa said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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