Leona Lewis may have managed to get Look magazine to publish an apology and the PCC may consider this enough to settle the matter but is this really enough?
One issue that remains contentious is the adequacy of printed apologies as remedies. While the offending stories are usually splashed across the front pages, apologies tend to get buried deep inside a magazine or paper’s content. In her recent case against the Daily Mail Kate Winslet was successful in forcing the paper to read out an apology in open court after it had settled the case and paid damages. The original apology the paper printed had been buried in a small column on page 27 which Winslet and her legal team at Schillings considered to be insufficient. They issued an application notice dated 3 September 2009 for permission to read a unilateral statement in open court in accordance with the provisions of CPR 53PD 6.1
Mr Justice Eady agreed that the request to read out a statement fell within the procedural guidelines and allowed it [judgment HERE] – so the Mail was forced to say sorry in open court which meant that the rest of the press got to report it!
Winslet has not been the first to complain about the adequacy of apologies, in 2003 actor John Cleese won £13,500 from the London Evening Standard over a ‘manifestly vitriolic’ article it had published suggesting his career was over. He was not satisfied with the apology it then printed and Mr Justice Eady awarded him damages.