Businesswoman Jackie Lavin has launched defamation proceedings against the publisher of the Sunday Times newspaper over an article she says wrongly stated that she was forced to sell her former Co Kildare home.
In her action, Ms Lavin claims the article about the sale of the 43-room three-storey period property at Oberstown House, is “manifestly incorrect”.
Ms Lavin who shared the house with her long-time partner, businessman and star of the Irish television version of the Apprentice, Bill Cullen, claims that the article, which was published in Ireland in early November 2021, wrongly states that she was forced by a bank to sell that property.
She claims she had settled the debts referred to in the article in full and, at the time of publication, did not owe that financial entity anything.
Arising out of the article, she wants to sue the newspaper’s publishers, the London-based Times Newspapers Limited, for defamation in Dublin’s High Court.
She seeks damages, including aggravated damages, for alleged defamation, malicious falsehood and damage to her good name and character.
She also seeks an injunction restraining the defendant from any further publication of the allegedly defamatory material concerning her. Ms Lavin also wants an order directing the newspaper to publish a correction of the allegedly defamatory statement in a manner agreed between the parties.
The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Brian O’Moore on Tuesday.
The judge allowed Ms Lavin, represented in court by Deirdre Miller BL instructed by O’Sullivan and Associates Solicitors, to serve formal notice of the defamation proceedings on the defendant.
Formal permission to serve the proceedings is required from the court because the defendant is based outside of the jurisdiction.