POP STAR SIR ELTON JOHN has filed a lawsuit against The Times newspaper over articles which he claims falsely link him with aggressive tax avoidance.
Two articles, appearing in the paper under the banner “the secrets of tax avoiders”, said Patrick McKenna of Ingenious Media was John’s former accountant, reports the BBC.
Those articles, published on 21 June, discussed the use of film partnerships allegedly provided by Ingenious Media, where McKenna is CEO.
The Times has since issued a clarification that the film finance partnerships arranged by Ingenious Media do not offer schemes of this type and have not been involved in moving money offshore to avoid tax.
Papers filed at the High Court state that the articles imply the singer was advised to engage in tax avoidance.
Although The Times published a four-line correction on 22 June, acknowledging McKenna had never acted as John’s accountant, his lawyers described the retraction as “wholly inadequate” as it had not been given the same prominence as the original articles.
William McCormick QC also stated in the writ that John was concerned the articles could have a detrimental effect on his charity work.
John’s lawyer’s said he felt “severe damage to his reputation and personal distress and embarrassment” and as such will be seeking damages for “the sense of insult and injury”.
In addition to seeking damages and aggravated for alleged libel, John’s lawyers are also seeking an injunction in order to ban the repetition of the allegations at the centre of the lawsuit.
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