The News Corp.-owned Times of London corrected a June 21 article “The Secrets of Tax Avoiders” but Elton John still has accused the newspaper of libeling him, the BBC reported.
Elton John claims the article “falsely linked him to a controversial tax avoidance scheme,” the Guardian explained. In response, the Times has asked the court “whether or not the article is defamatory,” according to a statement sent to iMediaEthics.
The reports wrongly identified Indigenous Media’s Patrick McKenna as Elton John’s accountant, which the correction notes. A clarification was also added to the article, which the BBC reported reads:
“We have been asked to make clear that the film finance partnerships arranged by Ingenious Media, whose CEO is Patrick McKenna, do not offer schemes of this type and they have not been involved in moving money offshore to avoid tax. It was not our intention to make such an allegation and we are happy to make the position clear.”
According to the BBC, Elton John’s lawyers argued the claims “are particularly damaging to the claimant’s reputation in the sphere of charity fundraising.” The Hollywood Reporter and Press Gazette added that Elton John’s lawyers said the correction was “wholly inadequate” and that Elton John had wanted a “prominent apology.”
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A spokesperson from The Times provided iMediaEthics this statement about the article:
“We published a clear correction the following day, which was handled by the legal department in the usual way. We have also lodged an application with the court to determine whether or not the article is defamatory.”
The Daily Beast noted that Elton John won a libel lawsuit from News Corp- owned the Sun in 1987 over a ” false front page story about John’s contact with rent boys.”
We have written to Carter Ruck, the law firm reported to represented Elton John, for comment and will update with any response.