Man Utd star accepts libel damages
Manchester United star Tom Cleverley has accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over a claim that he "badgered" a girl for sex.
The 22-year-old midfielder brought High Court proceedings against News Group Newspapers over a story in the Sun in August which left him "extremely upset and embarrassed", said his advocate, David Price QC.
He told Mr Justice Tugendhat in London that it alleged that the footballer had met a girl in a Blackpool nightclub and bombarded her with text messages offering her sex.
He was then alleged to have taken her to a B&B where he introduced her to his bodyguard and did a Google search on his name to demonstrate that he was a famous footballer. "Most seriously, the article then alleged that he repeatedly badgered her for sex despite her saying no."
Mr Price said the truth was that Cleverley had never met the girl involved and was at home with his girlfriend in Manchester at the time of the alleged incident.
"It transpires that, entirely unknown to the girl involved, an individual from Shipley, West Yorkshire, who resembles Mr Cleverley, was impersonating him, while another individual from the same town pretended to be his bodyguard.
"While these two individuals are from Mr Cleverley's local area, he does not know them and had no knowledge that they were practising such deception."
He told the judge the Sun's publisher, News International subsidiary News Group Newspapers had agreed to publish an apology and pay substantial damages together with costs to Cleverley, who was not in court.
The Sun's apology
AN article on 16 August reported that Manchester United footballer Tom Cleverley had begged a girl for sex after meeting her at a night club, even though he was dating a Page 3 model. In fact, entirely unknown to the girl it now transpires that the man involved, who looked like Tom Cleverley, was impersonating him. We apologise to Mr Cleverley for any embarrassment caused.