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Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 10:41 GMT
Soul 'vindicated' by libel win
Soul said he thought the review was a personal attack
Soul said he thought the review was a personal attack
American actor David Soul has said he feels vindicated after winning a three-year libel battle over a review of his West End show.

Former Starsky and Hutch star Soul was awarded 20,000 damages on Tuesday after former showbusiness reporter Matthew Wright panned his show The Dead Monkey in the Mirror without seeing it.

You've got to have people who are honestly reporting on behalf of the public

David Soul
Wright, who is now a TV presenter on ITV1's This Morning and Rich and Famous, claimed it was the worst play he had ever seen.

"If you're going to call yourself a reporter of any kind you've got to get your facts right," Soul told BBC One's Breakfast.

"The article was filled with inaccuracies and attacks. I think he was using the play as an excuse to attack me personally - which is fine, but if you're going to use a play to do it, go see the play."

The 1998 article alleged that the production and Mr Soul's performance were so poor that the audience were laughing at him and that he had instructed the ushers to beg anyone who wanted to walk out to return to their seats.

Fair comment

Criticism "goes with the territory", Soul said - but reporters must be honest.

"All we wanted was an apology, that was all we ever asked for three years ago and they refused to give it to us, so we said OK, we're in for the long run," he said.

"I feel vindicated. I feel it's really important to have fair comment and criticism, I think it's part of the society and community, and so I accept the fair comment.

"But you've got to have people who are honestly reporting on behalf of the public."

Wright also claimed that only 45 people showed up and that just two copies of a souvenir CD were sold.

The article also said Mr Soul had ploughed all his fortune into the production.

The bill for the entire case is likely to be in the region of 150,000 and it is expected to be picked up by the newspaper.


Soul's solicitor, Graham Atkins, told the High Court that Mr Wright had not been to the show, but had sent a freelance journalist instead.

Mr Atkins said the show had 130 people in the audience, over half the capacity, and that the performance had gone down very well.

Souvenir CDs sold out during the shows run and Mr Soul had not provided funds for the play.

Mark Bateman, solicitor for Mr Wright, said his client offered his apologies for the inaccuracies.

See also:

11 Dec 01 | Showbiz
David Soul wins libel case
18 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Hutch and Huggy together again
20 Dec 00 | Entertainment
David Soul joins Holby City
02 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
This Morning shrinks in size
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