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Monday, November 9, 1998 Published at 17:34 GMT


Mirror says sorry for Jackson libel

Michael Jackson: Sued over surgery claims

Pop superstar Michael Jackson has settled a libel action against The Mirror newspaper over allegations he had been disfigured by plastic surgery.

The tabloid claimed that the 40-year-old singer's face had been hideously disfigured by extensive plastic surgery in a quest for perfect looks.

The BBC's June Kelly: Mirror representatives encounter the true face of Michael Jackson
In June 1992, a full page close-up picture of his face, sweating under spotlights, was accompanied by the headline: "This is the real Michael Jackson".

The newspaper described him as a "scarred phantom" with a hole in his nose, one cheek higher than the other and a sagging chin.

At the High Court in London, Mirror Group Newspapers and the paper's former editor Richard Stott acknowledged that Michael Jackson was neither hideously disfigured nor scarred.

[ image: The offending story, published in June 1992]
The offending story, published in June 1992
Mr Jackson's solicitor, Marcus Barclay, told Mr Justice Popplewell the case had been settled "amicably" on confidential terms.

He told the court: "Representatives of The Mirror have since met directly with the plaintiff and have seen with their own eyes that the photographs which were published, albeit in good faith, do not accurately represent the plaintiff's appearance.

"The defendants regret the injury which has been done to the plaintiff's reputation and have agreed they will not repeat these allegations.

[ image:  ]
"Michael Jackson and The Mirror look forward to a better relationship now this litigation has been amicably resolved."

Mirror solicitor Kevin Bays said the photographs has been taken honestly and had not been tampered with, but the paper now accepted they did not represent the singer's true appearance.

Mr Barclay told the judge at the beginning of the brief hearing that Jackson's "extraordinary musical and dancing abilities and personal image all continue to attract an audience and a following from an extremely wide age group and background".

The offending photograph was taken at a press conference in London on 23 June 1992 to announce the formation of a charity and to a launch a worldwide tour for his Dangerous album.

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