The Sunday Express published false news about the marriage of Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter and, as a result, had to pay up, the Guardian‘s Roy Greenslade reported.
The Sunday Express’s Feb. 2013 story claimed Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter and Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, had separated from her husband, Mike Tindall.
Tindall’s lawsuit was over invasion of privacy, but he did say the newspaper published false information. iMediaEthics has written to Tindall’s representatives to ask why.
According to the Press Gazette, “Tindall sought damages for “publication of false, private information” published in the story, which featured coverage of his night out with England’s rugby team in New Zealand when he was seen on CCTV with another woman.” Tindall used to play rugby with England’s team.
Tindall’s spokesperson said the “rumours” published by the newspaper were “falsely reported” and “caused considerable distress.”
The spokesperson added, according to MSN, “Express Newspapers has apologised unreservedly and as a mark of regret to their actions agreed to make a payment to Mike Tindall, who will donate this to a charity of his choosing.”
This month, the publisher of the Express paid Tindall and apologized. “The case was settled ahead of court hearings due to begin next month,” UK media site the Drum reported.
Tindall sued in January for £50,000, the Press Gazette reported at the time.
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The newspaper had defended its reporting as newsworthy because of his wife’s position in the royal family and because both husband and wife are in the public eye, the Press Gazette reported.
The Express also published an apology on its website.
According to the BBC, Tindall said he is giving the financial settlement to charity.
The Oct. 26 apology reads:
“In an article published on 10 February 2013 entitled ‘Zara and Mike in marriage blip’ we reported rumours that Mike Tindall’s marriage was in trouble and that his wife had left the marital home.
“We accept that this was untrue and recognise that this reporting was intrusive.
“We apologise to Mike Tindall for any distress the article may have caused him.”
iMediaEthics has written to the Express for comment.