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1987: Archer wins record damages
Former deputy chair of the Conservative Party Jeffrey Archer has been awarded record libel damages at the High Court.

The Daily Star newspaper was ordered to pay the MP 500,000 damages, along with up to 700,000 costs, for a front-page story last November alleging Mr Archer had paid to have sex with a prostitute.

Successful novelist Mr Archer grinned as the jury delivered their verdict after deliberating for four hours at the end of the three-week trial.

He shook each of the jurors - eight women and four men - by the hand before leaving the court saying the "verdict speaks for itself".

Daily Star editor Lloyd Turner would only say his paper's owners, Express Newspapers, would be appealing.

The total bill of 1.2m makes it the fourth most expensive libel action ever.

Judge Mr Justice Caulfied spoke of the "enormous burden" carried by the jury and excused them from jury service for the next 15 years.

Mr Archer's wife Mary said she and her husband would be returning to their home in Grantchester, near Cambridge to spend the weekend with their sons and "might open a bottle of champagne".

The story about Mr Archer paying prostitute Monica Coghlan 2,000 to go on holiday first appeared in the News of the World last October and led to his resignation as vice-chair of the Conservative Party.

Five days later the Daily Star compounded the libel by publishing further details of allegations about Mr Archer paying Miss Coghlan 50 for sex and 20 for "extra time" last September.

Spokesman for News of the World owners - News Group Newspapers - former editor David Montgomery said they will continue to defend any outstanding action Mr Archer has against them.

In court Mr Archer told the jury he was "an honourable fool" tricked into giving Ms Coghlan money as the newspapers attempted to spoil his political career.

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Photograph of Jeffrey and Mary Archer leaving the High Court
Archer was delighted to win his own court-room drama

Archer wins libel compensation in court

In Context
Jeffrey Archer was made a life peer in 1992 for his services to the Conservative Party.

He was involved in an insider dealing scandal in 1994.

In 1999 Archer was forced to withdraw from the London mayoral race after his one-time friend Ted Francis revealed he had asked him to provide a false alibi in the 1987 libel trial.

He was also expelled from the Conservative Party for five years.

He starred in his own play, 'The Accused' about a prominent figure defending himself over a sexual scandal in 2000.

Six months later Archer was in court accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice at the 1987 trial.

He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in jail.

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