Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 11:18 UK

Damages for ex-EastEnder George

Mohammed George
Mr George gave evidence in court during the case

Mohammed George, who played Gus Smith in EastEnders, has won £75,000 in libel damages from The Sun after it accused him of "beating up" his girlfriend.

A jury decided the "completely untrue" article had "seriously and unfairly damaged" the actor's reputation.

Mr George, 26, who starred in the BBC soap for five years, was arrested in 2006 after a row with then girlfriend Emma Archibald.

The actor said he was "absolutely ecstatic" with the High Court verdict.

'Shackles'

He said he was "overcome with emotions" and that the "shackles have been released from me".

If I was a casting director, I wouldn't want to cast someone who I thought was a wife beater
Mohammed George

"I no longer have this weight hanging over me and finally people will realise that what they wrote wasn't true," he added.

He said he hoped the verdict would revive his acting career as "people won't be afraid to cast me now".

"If I was a casting director, I wouldn't want to cast someone who I thought was a wife beater," he said.

His lawyer, Ronald Thwaites, told the court that Mr George felt the allegations were "one step away from being described as a paedophile".

Mr Thwaites said the paper had alleged Mr George "flew into a rage in the street in the early hours of the morning of 3 December, 2006, and beat up his then girlfriend and mother of his daughter, acting like a wild animal and leaving her sprawling in the street when he ran away".

The jury agreed with Mr Thwaites that this claim was "completely untrue".

The court was also told that the actor had contacted the paper to complain but that "they responded by saying they had nothing to put right, they stood by the truth of what they had written".

The actor gave evidence in court testifying that he was a "very calm and laid back" person who would never hit a woman.



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