Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 12:03 UK

Katona wins substantial damages

Kerry Katona
Katona was previously married to Westlife singer Bryan McFadden

TV personality Kerry Katona has been awarded substantial damages over newspaper claims she worked as a prostitute before she was famous.

The former Atomic Kitten singer, 27, has accepted an undisclosed amount following the libel case against the Sunday Mirror at London's High Court.

The newspaper ran a story on 22 June which said Katona's mother intended to publish a book including the claims.

It published an apology on Sunday, and said the claim was "entirely false".

On 22 June The Sunday Mirror published an article with the headline Betrayed by Mum - Kerry's Mother Dishes the Dirt in Explosive New Book, with the claim that Katona once worked as a prostitute.

The paper has now said that Katona's mother Sue never made the allegation, in a book or otherwise.

'Deeply hurt'

Katona's lawyer, David Price said: "The truth is that Sue Katona has never alleged that the claimant worked as a prostitute in the book or at any other time and such an allegation would be entirely untrue.

"Moreover, Sue Katona has not to date written an autobiography nor does she have a publishing agreement to publish such a book."

"[Kerry Katona] was deeply hurt and embarrassed by the article.

"She was particularly distressed that such an allegation was said to have been made by her mother, thereby giving it added credibility."

Atomic Kitten
Katona (centre) with ex bandmates Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton

Katona was not in court to hear the verdict of the case against Mirror Group Newspapers - who will pay a five-figure sum and legal costs.

The mother-of-four is married to taxi driver Mark Croft and has two children with former Westlife singer Bryan McFadden.

In May, Katona's mother pleaded guilty to benefit fraud, having wrongly claimed income support and council tax benefit.

Katona was held at knifepoint in her Cheshire home in July 2007 when armed robbers stole goods worth 150,000.

After the raid, the star checked into The Priory rehab clinic and received treatment for bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression.

The singer left Atomic Kitten in 2001 and went on to win reality TV programme I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here in 2004.

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