July 28, 2008 / 10:49 AM / 10 years ago

Katona wins damages over "prostitute" libel

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona won libel damages and an apology on Monday over a newspaper article that falsely claimed she had worked as a prostitute before she became famous.

Former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona launches 'Pink Ladies', the women-only pink taxi service in central London, February 16, 2006. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Her lawyer David Price told the High Court that Katona was “deeply hurt” by the Sunday Mirror article published in June.

It was headlined: “Betrayed by Mum - Kerry’s mother dishes the dirt in explosive new book” and claimed that her mother Sue Katona was to make the prostitution allegation in the book.

“The truth is that Sue Katona has never alleged that the claimant worked as a prostitute in a book or at any other time and such an allegation would be entirely untrue,” Price told the court.

“(Katona) was deeply hurt and embarrassed by the article. She was particularly distressed that such an allegation was said to have been made by her mother, thereby giving it added credibility.”

Katona, 27, who was not in court, accepted substantial but undisclosed damages, legal costs and a public apology from the Mirror’s publishers.

Its lawyer Victoria Jolliffe said the newspaper accepted the allegations were false.

Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison

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