Substantial damages for Prince Albert of Monaco article

Prince Albert of Monaco has accepted a high court apology and substantial damages from the Sunday Times over “seriously defamatory allegations” that he had entered a sham marriage with Charlene Wittstock.

Note: This article is from the Guardian.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Sunday Times faces substantial damages bill for Prince Albert of Monaco article” was written by Lisa O’Carroll, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 15th January 2013 11.26 UTC

Prince Albert of Monaco has accepted a high court apology and substantial damages from the Sunday Times over “seriously defamatory allegations” that he had entered a sham marriage with Charlene Wittstock.

The prince sued the News International paper following the publication of the article in July 2011 for damages of more than £300,000, but the high court heard on Tuesday morning that the exact settlement has yet to be agreed. The Sunday Times will also pay Prince Albert’s legal costs.

Rupert Earle, a lawyer representing the Sunday Times, said the paper offered “its sincere apologies to the claimants for the damage, as well as the distress caused”.

In a statement read out in court, it also agreed that the paper had falsely alleged that Prince Albert had “turned a blind eye to corrupt activity by his courtiers and had done nothing effective to curb the activities of mobsters and money launderers in the principality”.

The article was published on 3 July 2011, just two days after the couple were married – it was headlined “The Full Monte” and “Curse of the Grimaldis”. It wrongly claimed that Prince Albert’s wife had agreed to take part in a sham marriage because he paid her so much money to go through the pretence of an extravagant wedding, despite her discovering that he had fathered an illegitimate child with another woman during their relationship.

The prince and princess said the story had caused considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.

Mr Justice Eady, presiding over the case in the high court, heard that the article also wrongly alleged that Prince Albert had granted residency in Monaco to foreigners on the request of friends and advisers for fear they would disclose embarrassing secrets about his love life.

“It also accused him of having Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene’s passport confiscated at Nice airport in order to prevent her from leaving Monaco, so that she would marry him for appearance’s sake,” Prince Albert’s lawyer Mark Thomson said in court.

He added that the Sunday Times also made the defamatory suggestion that Princess Charlene had attempted to flee the principality because she had discovered the existence of a third love child by another woman and she had reluctantly agreed to marry the prince in exchange for money with a view to “obtaining an annulment after a seemly interval”.

The final libel, Thomson told the court, was the allegation that Prince Albert “had paid his allegedly reluctant bride for going through with the marriage with the intent of allowing her afterwards to annul the marriage quietly”.

“None of these allegations are true,” said Thomson in the statement agreed with the paper.

“The article caused the newly-wed couple enormous upset and embarrassment,” he added, particularly in view of the worldwide interest in their marriage.

Prince Albert has launched a second lawsuit against the Sunday Times over false allegations that he entered a sham marriage with his wife Charlene Wittstock.

The prince is suing the paper and its editor, John Witherow, and the author of the article, Matthew Campbell, in France over the publication of the article on 3 July 2011 in the paper which is distributed in France.

Papers lodged in the French court show Prince Albert is seeking €100,000 (£83,000) in damages and a legal notice in the Sunday Times in English, along with one in French, in three French newspapers and the Monaco Matin Express. A hearing on the case is scheduled for the Paris courts on Wednesday.

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One thought on “Substantial damages for Prince Albert of Monaco article

  1. ik ben blij dat ze hebben bekent.maar dat zulke mensen dat mogen
    doen ,die deugen niet .ik heb zo meegeleefd.die mensen doen niemand kwaad .en ik vind dat de PRINS een hele goede vrouw
    heeft gekozen.en ze houden veel van mekaar.groetjes ans

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