Here's the story; it was pointed out to me that not everyone has membership of MediaGuardian!
Express pays Brand libel damages
TV presenter and DJ Russell Brand today accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages from Express Newspapers over a claim that a girl was drugged and raped during a party at his flat.
Brand's solicitor, Paul Fox, told the high court in London that articles that appeared in the Daily Star in September last year described the victim's allegations that she was slipped a drugged drink and raped during a party at Brand's rented flat during the Edinburgh festival.
"The meaning of the article was that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the claimant drugged and raped a young woman. This was totally untrue," Mr Fox told the court.
"The claimant was never suspected of the alleged rape nor was there any evidence at all to involve him in its circumstances. Rather, at the police's request he assisted them as a witness."
Mr Fox said that on the same day as the article, Brand was obliged to issue a press statement denying any involvement in the alleged rape.
Following the conclusion of the police inquiry in October, Brand demanded an apology in a solicitor's letter.
He said the article suggested that although he publicly expressed his abhorrence of drugs he in fact used them to facilitate rape.
Mr Fox said that his demand for an apology had been rejected, prompting Brand to embark on legal action in November.
Express Newspapers then made an unqualified offer of amends and, in December, published an apology in the Daily Star.
He added that the newspaper had agreed to pay Brand a substantial sum to compensate him for the harm done to his reputation, and his legal costs.
Nicole Patterson, counsel for Express Newspapers, said that it regretted publishing the article and its initial refusal to apologise.
"The defendant offers its sincere apologies to Mr Brand and is pleased that the matter is now amicably resolved."
Brand, who is patron of the drug rehabilitation charity Focus 12, was not at the high court to hear today's proceedings.