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Starr loses court injunction bid
A High Court judge has refused to continue an injunction granted to comedian Freddie Starr to prevent publication of what he says is a libellous allegation.
No details of the allegation were revealed during the ruling given by Mr Justice Tugendhat after a hearing in London.
Mr Justice Tugendhat said the case did not relate to confidential information, but to "words which are alleged to be libellous".
He stressed that it was his intention that his judgment "should not undermine any remedy the claimant may have relating to the matters in question in this case".
The original order made against 11 print and media organisations referred to the fact that Mr Starr was "seeking to prevent a false allegation being published".
The court heard that a letter had been sent to news organisations on behalf of the 69-year-old celebrity stating that he "categorically" denied the allegation, for which there was "absolutely no foundation".
He said: "I am informed that the allegation has not in fact been published by any of these defendants. The upshot is that, as it seems to me, there wasn't any evidence of intention by any of these defendants to commit an unlawful act and in so far as I am told by counsel for the defendants they represent, they would in any event only intend to publish an allegation which they considered they were in a position to defend, whether by justification or any other defence."
The judge announced that the application "must fail".
In conclusion he emphasised: "Nothing in this judgment is intended, or will affect, the rights of the claimant in the event that anyone should choose to publish anything about this case."
A spokeswoman for ITV News said: "ITV News and others have overturned an injunction obtained by Freddie Starr against 11 news organisations."