The Daily Mail carries an apology today to the author JK Rowling in which it states that it has paid her substantial damages over an article that claimed she had told a misleading “sob story.”
The article, published on 27 September 2013, suggested she had falsely accused churchgoers of stigmatising her because she was a single mother. It was headlined “How JK’s sob story about her single mother past surprised and confused the church members who cared for her.”
The paper admitted liability in January, when it agreed to publish the correction and pay damages to Rowling. But the Mail disputed details of the settlement.
In the high court last month, Mr Justice Tugendhat that Rowling could make a statement about the case despite objections from Associated Newspapers, the Mail’s publisher, about the contents of the statement.
He ruled that “there is no sufficient reason” for refusing Rowling permission to read it.
Wednesday’s apology, at the foot of page 2, states:
“Our September 28, 2013 article ‘How JK’s sob story about her single mother past surprised and confused the church members who cared for her’ suggested that JK Rowling made a knowingly false and inexcusable claim in an article for the Gingerbread charity that people at her church had stigmatised her and cruelly taunted her for being a single mother.
In fact Mrs Rowling recounted only one incident where a visitor to the church sitgmatised and taunted her on a particular day. We accept that Ms Rowling’s article did not contain any false claims and apologise for any contrary suggestion and have agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Rowling, which she is donating to charity, and a contribution to her legal costs.”
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