Northern and Shell is being sued by a former football club chairman for up to £100,000 over a story from “a notorious and self-confessed celebrity kiss and teller”, High Court documents have shown.
Simon Jordan, former owner of Crystal Palace football club, is suing over a four-page spread in OK! on 23 August 2013 where Alicia Douvall explained that she wished Simon Cowell was the father of her child instead of Jordan.
OK! also made several allegations against Jordan which he claimed caused “considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment”.
According to the Particulars of Claim: “In their natural and ordinary and/or inferential meaning the words complained of meant and were understood to mean that the claimant callously ended a three-year relationship with Alicia Douvall immediately upon learning of her pregnancy, deliberately changing his mobile telephone number, and has cruelly refused her most modest of requests simply to pay for the bare essentials, such as milk and nappies, for their child.
“As a result of the publication complained of above, the claimant has been caused substantial damage to his reputation, and has suffered considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.”
According to Jordan’s claim, OK! failed to contact him in advance of publication where they could have verified the allegations made by Douvall (pictured above – credit: Reuters)).
The claim states: “It has to be inferred that the Defendant chose not to do so as it preferred instead to exploit Ms Douvall’s story about wishing that the father of her younger daughter was Simon Cowell rather than Simon Jordan which would have been of considerable and highly topical interest given that it had just been announced in the medial that Mr Cowell was (finally) to become a father for the first time.
“As proof of this, the Claimant will refer to the fact that, as was inevitable given the topicality of the story and the fact that it came from such a notorious and self-confessed celebrity kiss and teller, such as Ms Douvall, the story was widely picked up by the press and the media and public attention drawn to it as a result.”
As well as damages and aggravated damages for libel, Jordan wants an injunction restraining Northern and Shell from reprinting any of the allegations.
Northern and Shell had not responded to Press Gazette's request for comment at time of publication.