Bird & Bird managed to stave off a libel action for American tabloid The National Enquirer on Friday (16 February), after the paper alleged that Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz was a love cheat.
Media law firm Schillings, on behalf of Diaz, withdrew the action after the newspaper, through Bird & Bird, voiced its apologies for publishing articles claiming the actress was having an affair with married MTV producer Shane Nickerson while she was seeing singer Justin Timberlake.
The Enquirer was actually the second defendant in the libel action with The Sun as first defendant. The Rupert Murdoch owned paper, however, had already submitted its apologies.
In open court this morning, Schillings partner Simon Smith said: “The publication of these allegations has caused damage to the claimant’s personal and professional reputation, in addition to obvious distress to both herself, Mr Timberlake, Mr Nickerson, and his wife.”
Smith added that after an apology from The Enquirer his client was prepared not to take any further action.
In response, Bird & Bird associate Simon Howard said: “My Lord, I accept everything that my friend Mr Smith has said.
“Through me the second defendant offers its sincere apologies to the claimant for the distress and embarrassment caused by this article. It entirely accepts that the allegations are without foundation and ought never to have been published.”