Comedian Matt Lucas has launched a legal action against the Daily Mail claiming a story about his recovery after the death of former civil partner breached his privacy.
Lucas is seeking aggravated damages over a story headed ‘How Matt Lucas learnt to laugh again’referring to the period after his former civil partner Kevin McGee, killed himself in October last year.
The Little Britain star argues the story was “wrongful”, a misuse of his private information and an unjustified infringement of his right to a private life.
According to a writ filed at the High Court, the Mail’s story left Lucas upset, distressed and annoyed.
The journalist who wrote the story and other editorial staff, the writ adds, could not have failed to realise the ‘very serious invasion of privacy and intrusion into grief it represented”.
Lucas contends that close relatives and friends quoted in the story did not make the statements attributed to them and that much of the information was false.
The story claimed Lucas was planning to have a big birthday party. According to the writ, Lucas had already told friends and family he would not celebrate his birthday this year and was out of the country at the time.
The writ said Lucas was particularly distressed by allegations that he blamed himself for McGee’s death and was hosting a party to ‘let go of the pain”. Both claims were untrue, it said.
Lucas, who instructed London law firm Schillings to act on his behalf, said Associated Newspapers, owner of the Mail, had refused to apologise or accept the story should not have been published.