Irish Businessman not 'frontman for Qataris,' Spectator apologizes

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Luxury 5-Star Claridge's hotel seen from the outside. (Credit: Tim Westcott via Geograph)

UK magazine The Spectator apologized after wrongly calling Paddy McKillen the “front man for the Qataris” in a hotel investment.

McKillen, an Irish businessman, sued The Spectator for defamation over its March 29 article, “It Might be Time to Avoid Claridges.” The article does not appear to be online.

The magazine admitted it was “incorrect” and “wrong” with its reporting.  It “incorrectly assumed Mr McKillen’s investment in Claridges was being financed by Qatari funding,” the apology read out in court said, according to the Irish Independent

A search of The Spectator‘s website for McKillen’s name produces no results.

According to The Guardian, McKillen is “in a legal dispute with the owners of The Spectator, Sirs David and Frederick Barclay, over the ownership of the Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns Claridges, The Connaught and The Berkeley.”

The apology settled the lawsuit.

iMediaEthics has written to McKillen’s solicitor asking if there was a financial settlement. We’ve also reached out to The Spectator to ask if it has or will publish the apology in print and online.

In a separate matter, McKillen got another lengthy correction from the Irish Independent July 13.

The Independent had reported on a Vanity Fair article about McKillen and Derek Quinlan. But The Independent misattributed “a number of comments” to the wrong man and wrongly reported on McKillen’s loans.

The Independent’s correction reads:

“A number of comments attributed to Mr McKillen should  have been attributed to Mr Quinlan.

“It was Mr Quinlan and not Mr McKillen who had a triple bypass operation and who stated that he does not see himself living in Ireland again.

“Vanity Fair was also referring to Mr Quinlan when it said he had never publicly discussed his ruin or exile.

“We have been asked to clarify that Mr McKillen’s loans were never in NAMA and have always been fully performing.

“He also repaid all of his IBRC loans in full earlier this year.  We are happy to clarify these matters and apologise unreservedly for any distress caused to Mr McKillen and his family.”

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Irish Businessman not ‘frontman for Qataris,’ Spectator apologizes

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