Sharon Osbourne wins payout for apparently not driving Ozzy to his grave

The Sun has been forced to pay out substantial libel damages after wrongly claiming Sharon Osbourne was pushng her husband, the legendary Ozzy Osbourne to perform lots of live music shows that were, allegedly, too much for him and could see him perform his way to the grave. As ever with these stories the pictues don't match the headlines they are seeking to stand up. Using a photograph from 2003 when Ozzy had just completed a charity run, The Sun sought to make that stand up as evidence that he may be being pushed too far to perform some music dates.

The paper (The Sun) and News International as publisher couldn't back up their assertions or make the story stand up so they promptly lost the defamation action brought by Sharon Osbourne.

Could a string of live gigs be a bit much for Ozzy - possibly, but that's one for his doctors to decide. Could Sharon be pushing him to perform more gigs (so she can buy more expensive lapdogs) - who knows but we can't - or the Sun certainly couldnt prove anything. What is and has been proved to be the case is that speculation over whether Ozzy can handle a tour can make a headline but that it's been an expensive one.

Here again is an example of a paper deciding to run the risk of a headline grabbing story while not able to prove the underlying suggestion of the headline. What the press knows but in cases such as this needs reminding of is that its all well and good to expose or stitch someone up but to get away with it one needs to have ones proof, sources or second hand suggestions in place to show that there is some legitimate (though not necessarily legitimate as in legal and compliant with law) basis for that which has been printed.

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