Morrissey wins ‘bar ban’ damages

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ACTOR Neil Morrissey has accepted substantial undisclosed damages over a claim that he was banned from a French bar over “le binge drinking”.

Morrissey, 49, best known for his TV role in Men Behaving Badly, was not at London’s High Court yesterday for the settlement of his libel action against Associated Newspapers.

His solicitor, Peter Crawford, told Judge Richard Parkes QC that two articles in the Daily Mail last March alleged that he was banned from the bar near his French retreat because of his rowdy, drunken behaviour. They said that a poster of the actor, bearing the words “Do not serve this man”, had gone up because his behaviour made him unwelcome to the proprietors and staff as a bad influence who encouraged anti-social and offensive binge drinking

“Those assertions were not true. Most significantly, Mr Morrissey had not been banned from the bar, nor had he been drunken or rowdy in the bar.”

Mr Crawford added that the newspaper published a correction and apology in October and made an offer of substantial compensation the following month. Mr Crawford told the court that Morrissey complained immediately after the articles appeared and issued proceedings in June.

In August, the newspaper made an unqualified offer of amends, accepting the allegations were completely false and that it had no defence to the proceedings.

“Mr Morrissey makes this statement in court today to bring the Mail’s unreserved withdrawal of these allegations and its apology for publishing them to the attention of those who did not see the Mail’s published apology.”