Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Donovan still slapped about The Face

We don't think Jason Donovan should have sued the Face all those years ago, but even so, it's probably unfair on him that, fifteen years on, the case is reported as having been about being called gay. Today's G2, for example, notes:

Beckham's ease with his image represents a major shift in attitudes from 15 years ago, when Jason Donovan sued the Face for libel over a gay rumour. He won the case and an award of £200,000, but emerged appearing catastrophically homophobic. Having alienated a large section of his fanbase, his career never truly recovered.

He should have shrugged and moved on, but his case against the magazine was not that it called him gay; it was that it called him a liar. That he was supposedly lying about his sexuality wasn't really the point, and certainly it's unfair to suggest that he came off as homophobic during the case.

It should also be remembered that he cut a deal with The Face which allowed it to keep it publishing - he was seeking an apology rather than vengeance.

The irony, of course, is that the brief mention of his name in an article about outing would, by now, have been forgotten; the legal action just ensures that nobody can write an article about the closet without throwing in a reference.