Radar Online accused Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, of trying to sell information about Princess Diana for money. Now, the gossip site has apologized and admitted the story was “without foundation.”
Despite the apology, the article is still on Radar Online’s sister website, the National Enquirer. The 138-word article claimed “reports” and “spies” told the site that Ferguson wanted cash for interviews about Princess Diana. No sources were named for the allegations, but Radar did quote an anonymous “snitch” who supposedly said producers expected Ferguson to ask for $10,000 for an interview. iMediaEthics has written to American Media, which publishes Radar Online and National Enquirer, to ask why the story is still published.
Radar published an Aug. 9 apology for its May 15 story that reads,
“On May 15 2017, we published an article under the headline “Fergie demands $$ to dish on Diana!” We now unreservedly accept that the suggestion that Sarah, Duchess of York, is or has been willing to provide personal information about Princess Diana for financial reward is without foundation. The Duchess has not, either herself or through a representative acting on her instruction, sought or agreed to give an interview about her friendship with Princess Diana in return for payment. We sincerely apologize to the Duchess for our error.”
The Irish News reported that Ferguson’s lawyer Paul Tweed demanded the retraction, which he called “comprehensive and categoric.” Tweed confirmed to iMediaEthics he represented Ferguson in the matter. “I cannot make any further comment, other than the client’s acknowledgement of the apology from the National Enquirer (which will also appear in their US and UK print editions),” he wrote.
Last year, Ferguson sued News UK, News Corp’s UK branch, for lost earnings and distress over a 2010 undercover sting report published in News of the World. In the undercover video, Ferguson was caught on camera accepting money for access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew.
Earlier this year, fitness advocate Richard Simmons filed a libel and invasion of privacy lawsuit against Radar Online over Radar Online’s reports claiming he was transitioning to become a transgender woman. Last year, three of Michael Jackson’s nephews sued Radar Online over Radar Online’s stories alleging Jackson molested them and then paid to remain quiet. In 2014, shortly after Robin Williams’ death, Radar Online published an invasive photo of Williams at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
UPDATED: 8/11/2017 10:55 AM EST With response from Tweed