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Last Updated: Monday, 28 July, 2003, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Evans to pay 7m legal bill
Chris Evans
Evans was described as a "prima donna" by the judge
Broadcaster Chris Evans has agreed to pay 7m damages to the owners of Virgin Radio after losing his lengthy court battle for unfair dismissal.

Mr Evans, 37, has agreed the sum with Scottish Media Group (SMG) to cover costs and damages incurred by the company.

But he recently told a newspaper that whatever the costs, "I can afford to lose it".

The former DJ and TV presenter had sued SMG for sacking him from his job as Virgin breakfast host after he missed a series of shows in 2001.

But a High Court judge ruled he had not been unfairly dismissed and was not entitled to 8.6m share options.

Mr Justice Lightman described him as a "prima donna", given to drinking bouts and "petulant" behaviour.

We are just pleased that this matter has now been settled and that is an end to it
SMG spokesman
At the end of June, Mr Evans spoke to the News Of The World about the case, saying: "It's only money. I still have it in the bank."

He also said: "Yes I get drunk, who doesn't? I can be petulant and a prima donna. So what?

"That's why I'm successful. It's called being creative."

On Monday, SMG spokesman Callum Spreng said: "We have reached a full and final cash settlement with Mr Chris Evans relating to the recent court case.

"SMG will receive 7 million, which covers all costs and damages.

"We are just pleased that this matter has now been settled and that is an end to it."

'Too ill'

During the seven-week court case, Virgin said Evans acted unprofessionally and was fired after failing to turn up for work five days in a row.

The former BBC Radio 1 DJ said he was ill - but was pictured at a pub with his wife Billie Piper during his leave.

He claimed management at Virgin Radio put him under so much pressure he was forced to leave.

SMG initially counter-claimed more than 20m from Evans, who made a personal fortune of 70m when he sold his Ginger Media Group, which included Virgin, to the group.

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