Artist News Business News Deals Labels & Publishers Legal Media

Elton John settles with The Sun over libellous dog bite story, and ramps up his Universal Music alliance

By | Published on Monday 24 September 2018

Elton John

Elton John and his husband David Furnish have accepted “significant” damages from newspaper firm News UK over a defamatory story published in The Sun On Sunday earlier this year which alleged that their dog had inflicted “Freddy Krueger-like” injuries on a child who had been playing at the musician’s home.

The front page Sun story said that a five year old girl had been injured during a play date with the musician’s children at his Berkshire home. It also suggested that neither John nor Furnish had shown much interest in the girls’ recovery after the incident.

However, lawyers for John and Furnish said that the girl’s injuries had not in fact been serious and that they had inquired about the girl’s welfare several times. The Sun’s story, the lawyers argued, was therefore “false and seriously defamatory”.

According to the BBC, one lawyer working for the couple, Jenny Afia, told the court that, contrary to the Sun’s report, “the truth is that the injuries were not serious, and the claimants, far from ignoring the incident, made several inquiries about the girl’s welfare to her father and nanny. Each time it was confirmed the girl was fine”.

Afia then added that News UK had now withdrawn its allegations and agreed to settle with her clients. “I am pleased to say that the newspaper has now accepted unequivocally that this allegation was false and seriously defamatory”, she said. “As a result, it has agreed now to apologise to Sir Elton John and David Furnish, and to pay significant damages as well as to reimburse their legal costs”.

A legal rep for News UK said: “The defendant offers its apology to the claimants and is pleased that the matter has been amicably resolved”.

Elsewhere in Elton John news, his company Rocket Entertainment – headed up by the aforementioned Furnish – has renewed and expanded its alliance with Universal Music which will work with the musician on his recordings, songs and merchandise, and some other bits and pieces on the side. In fact, the new partnership is almost as extensive as the press release issued to announce it, that came in at 1709 words, not including the accompanying background info on John and the various Universal Music businesses.

Here are some of our favourite words from that essay: “significant”, “extraordinary”, “multi-faceted”, “unrivalled”, “timeless”, “collaborative”, “perfect partners”, “perfect tandem”, “nurturing artistry”, “restless creativity”, “constantly pushing the limits”, “leverage”, “forefront”, “projected”, “style elements”, “broad-based global media and entertainment company”, “crossroads of music and fashion” and “the superstar’s DNA”. Feel free to jumble those up into any combination you like.