Lesley Sanderson, a contestant in the Channel 4 series Big Brother in 2005 was successful in her libel claim against Express Newspapers Limited. Two articles published in the Daily Star Sunday made highly defamatory allegations of sexual impropriety against Ms Sanderson. Express Newspapers accept that the allegations are untrue and have apologised to Ms Sanderson. Express Newspapers have paid Ms Sanderson substantial damages.
Statement in Open Court
Lesley Sanderson v Express Newspapers Limited
13 March 2007
The Claimant’s Solicitor
My Lord, in this action I represent Lesley Sanderson, the claimant. My friend Stephen Bacon represents the defendant. The claimant was a contestant in the Channel 4 series of “Big Brother” and the defendant is the publisher of the Daily Star Sunday.
On 29 May 2005 an article was published in the Daily Star Sunday under the heading “Lesley’s a Ton of Fun” in which the Daily Star Sunday made various false allegations of sexual impropriety against Lesley Sanderson. It falsely alleged that Lesley Sanderson had over one hundred sexual partners, became pregnant at the age of 15 and offered sexual favours to boys at school.
The Daily Star Sunday published a second similar article on 12 June 2005 under the heading “Her Dad caught us on the Job” in which the Daily Star Sunday falsely alleged that Lesley Sanderson had sexual intercourse in a car with a man who was teaching her to drive.
All the allegations in both articles are totally untrue. The articles were devastating for Lesley Sanderson. They caused her great distress, and embarrassment and she felt humiliated and upset knowing that they would be read by her friends and her family.
The defendant has accepted that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations. To mark this, it has agreed to join in this statement and publicly withdraw the allegations and apologise for the distress which it has caused to Lesley Sanderson. In addition, it has agreed not to repeat the allegations complained of, or any similar allegations, and has already published an apology in the Daily Star Sunday on 16 July 2006. It has also agreed to pay a substantial sum in compensation and legal costs.
The Defendant’s Solicitor
On behalf of the defendant I endorse what has been said by my friend. The defendant apologies to Lesley Sanderson for the distress its article has caused her and is happy to join in this statement to publicly apologise.
The Claimant’s Solicitor
My Lord I ask for leave to withdraw the record.
on behalf of the Claimant
on behalf of the Defendant
Ms Sanderson was represented by Alasdair Pepper and Hanna Basha.