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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
BB Lisa's libel claim thrown out
Lisa Jeynes
Lisa Jeynes appeared in the 2003 series of Big Brother
A libel claim by a former Big Brother contestant who said she had been portrayed as a man posing as a woman has been thrown out by the High Court.

Lisa Jeynes, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, was in Big Brother in 2003 and sued over articles in Love it! magazine and the News of the World.

Her complaint focused on the words: "BB's Lisa 'the geezer'. My fake boobs fell out on date with James Hewitt!"

The judge, Mr Justice Eady, also refused her permission to appeal.

He ruled no reasonable reader could conclude those words bore the meaning she alleged.

Ms Jeynes, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, claimed that the innuendo - made against a background of rumours in 2003 that there was to be a transsexual contestant in Big Brother 4 - suggested she was really a man posing as a woman.

'Serious accident'

The 38-year-old, who was not at London's High Court, was seeking compensation, including aggravated and exemplary damages, not exceeding 150,000.

But after the case was thrown out Ms Jeynes, who is currently living on benefits, faces paying costs of 6,750.

The judge imposed no time limit on the payment after her counsel, Adrian Davies, said Ms Jeynes had suffered a "serious accident of a very unpleasant and disfiguring nature" after being struck by an electric cable while modelling.

Mr Davies said: "She is currently unemployed and unlikely to find further work modelling so her circumstances are somewhat distressing and any order for costs may be somewhat academic at this stage."

'Read too much'

Alexandra Marzec, counsel for News Magazines Ltd and News Group Newspapers, who denied libel, had argued that the words Ms Jeynes complained of could not bear Ms Jeynes' "far-fetched" meaning.

She said that if rumours about a transsexual contestant were around in 2003 they had no factual basis and were not in circulation in May 2006 when the magazine articles were published.

Ms Marzec said that someone reading only the cover reference to "Lisa the geezer" or a related advert in the News of the World would appreciate that this related to the article - and there was no reason to suppose from the article that Ms Jeynes was anything but a biological woman.

The judge dismissed the action, ruling that no reasonable reader could conclude that the words complained of bore the meaning alleged.

"That would be to read far too much into those words," he said.

He refused Ms Jeynes permission to appeal on the basis that her case had no prospect of success, although she can apply to the Court of Appeal directly.

Ms Jeynes entered the fourth series of Big Brother after it had already been running for seven weeks.

She was voted out after just two weeks, with the show eventually won by fish trader Cameron Stout.


SEE ALSO
Jon voted back into Big Brother
11 Jul 03 |  Entertainment
Lisa aims to win BB prize
29 Jun 03 |  Wales

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