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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 12:54 GMT
Girls Aloud singer sued by victim
Cheryl Tweedy outside court
Cheryl Tweedy argued she was acting in self defence
The toilet attendant assaulted by Girls Aloud star Cheryl Tweedy is suing the singer in an attempt to receive "substantial" damages and an apology.

Last month Tweedy, 20, was found guilty of assaulting Sophie Amogbokpa, 39, in a nightclub in Guildford, Surrey.

Mrs Amogbokpa has launched a civil action backed by Imran Khan, the solicitor who acted for the parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Tweedy received a 3,000 fine and 120 hours community service for the crime.

She punched the toilet attendant after Mrs Amogbokpa tried to stop her taking some lollipops, but argued that she was punched first.

She was able to apologise to her fans and her family but not to me, the victim
Sophie Amogbokpa
Judge Richard Haworth criticised Tweedy for showing no remorse and described it as "an unpleasant piece of drunken violence".

On Wednesday, Tweedy apologised to fans, her fellow group members and her family - but not Mrs Amogbokpa.

"If she had just apologised, it would have been the end of the story," Mrs Amogbokpa told The Guardian newspaper.

"I wanted her to apologise to me as a person. The fact that she hasn't just goes to show how much she feels I am just rubbish.

"She was able to apologise to her fans and her family and other people but not to me, the victim, who she caused so much stress and pain."

Verbal assault

Mrs Amogbokpa said she wanted the world to see Tweedy "the way she really is" and the singer's media appearances made her feel "as if I was being assaulted all over again".

She will seek aggravated damages in the civil courts on the basis that the assault was racially motivated, The Guardian reported.

During the criminal trial, which ended on 20 October, it was alleged that Tweedy called Mrs Amogbokpa a "black bitch".

But the jury decided she did not say those words and found her guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but not guilty of another charge of racially aggravated assault.

Once I have done my community service I will just put it all behind me and carry on
Cheryl Tweedy
Mr Khan told The Guardian Mrs Amogbokpa wanted the singer to "finally acknowledge what she has done and the extent to which she has affected Mrs Amogbokpa's life".

On Wednesday, Tweedy told BBC Radio Five Live: "I'm sorry to the fans and to my family and the other girls that it ever happened.

"I'm sorry that I went out that night."

When asked on GMTV if she accepted her conviction, she replied: "Yes."

She had done six of her 120 hours of community service, she said.

"That is my punishment and I am prepared to do whatever they come up with.

"Once I have done my community service I will just put it all behind me and carry on."

Media lawyer Gary Fotios, of Laytons, told BBC News Online that Mrs Amogbokpa had a case.

"The burden of proof in a civil case is that much lower - its a probability rather than beyond reasonable doubt as it is in a criminal case.

"The issues are what can she actually sue for: she can sue for physical damage but will she be suing for psychological damage?

"That is much more difficult to prove."

No-one from Cheryl Tweedy's solicitors was available for comment.

Singer Tweedy 'sorry' for assault
05 Nov 03  |  Showbiz
Singer Tweedy guilty of assault
20 Oct 03  |  England
Girls Aloud's year at the top
20 Oct 03  |  TV and Radio
Singer 'not above the law'
17 Oct 03  |  Southern Counties
Singer 'did not throw first punch'
15 Oct 03  |  England
Singer's punch 'was self-defence'
14 Oct 03  |  England


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