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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Brand receives rape claim damages
Russell Brand
Brand is patron of the drug rehabilitation charity Focus 12
Comedian Russell Brand has accepted substantial damages over claims a girl was drugged and raped during a party at his flat during the Edinburgh Festival.

Mr Brand's lawyer, Paul Fox, told the High Court in London the Daily Star had insinuated Mr Brand was responsible.

"The claimant was never suspected of the alleged rape nor was there any evidence at all to involve him in its circumstances," he said.

Mr Brand, who is patron of drug charity Focus 12, was not present in court.

His solicitor told Mr Justice Eady that on the same day as the story was published, Mr Brand was obliged to issue a press statement denying any involvement in the alleged rape.

Following the conclusion of the police inquiry in October, the 32-year-old demanded an apology by solicitor's letter.

Refusal

The letter noted that the Daily Star suggested Mr Brand had contradicted his publicly expressed abhorrence of drugs by using them to facilitate rape.

The tabloid's publishers, Express Newspapers, at first refused to apologise, but when Mr Brand took legal action in November they made an "unqualified offer of amends" and published an apology, Mr Fox said.

He added that the newspaper had now agreed to pay Mr Brand a substantial sum to compensate him for the harm done to his reputation, plus his legal costs.

"In these circumstances, Mr Brand feels that he has been vindicated in proceedings it was necessary for him to bring and is content to let the matter rest," Mr Fox concluded.

Express Newspapers' counsel, Nicole Patterson, told the judge: "The defendant regrets publishing the article and its initial refusal to apologise.

"The defendant offers its sincere apologies to Mr Brand and is pleased that the matter is now amicably resolved."




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