GMTV presenter Kate Garraway and her husband Derek Draper gazed lovingly into each others eyes at London’s High Court today as a judge was told that they were ‘faithful, happy and in love.”
The couple who sat in the back of the court smiled devotedly at each other public statement of their devotion was read out. Kate accepted a public apology and a six figure sum in legal costs and libel damages to bring to an end a libel action she brought against Sunday and Daily Mirror publishers MGN Ltd over articles accusing her of being unfaithful to Derek.
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Mr Justice David Eady was told that the articles linked Kate romantically with Anton Du Beke who was her dance partner on the hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing.
Solicitor for Miss Garraway, Rachel Atkins told the judge the articles appeared under headlines which included ‘Kate + Anton â€¦ A Late Tango,”Three months after Strictly Dancing, GMTV star and Romeo are ever so close,’and another headed ‘Strictly Friends : Married GMTV host Kate Garraway has struck up a close friendship with her strictly come dancing partner â€¦l almost three months after they were voted off the show.”
‘The article alleged that the claimant was betraying her husband, Derek Draper, and being unfaithful to him by having an affair with Anton Du Beke,’said Miss Atkins.
‘The allegation was made despite the fact that the claimants representatives had categorically denied any affair when the allegation was put to them the day before.”
She said the article was published with a number of photographs of Miss Garraway which were taken without her knowledge going about her normal daily life.
She told the judge that although presented in such a way that they purported to back up the allegations they did not in fact support the allegation of an illicit affair.
She continued : ‘Contrary to the allegations, the claimant and her husband are and were as faithful, happy and in love at the time of the publication as they had ever been. The plaint truth was that the claimant and Anton Du Beke became friends during Strictly Come Dancing. Since then they often worked and spent time together.”
For MGN counsel, Elizabeth Prochaska said they had not intended to expressly state that Kate was having an affair with Anton Du Beke nor that her denials of such an allegation were unconvincing.
However, she said they now accepted that the articles implied those allegations and apologised for the distress and embarrassment caused by the articles.
Afterwards Kate said : ‘I am glad that this matter is now over. The way my friendship with Anton was twisted into something sordid was terribly unfair and upsetting.
‘I wanted everyone to know that what had been written was completely wrong. The accusations threatened to cast a shadow over the wonderful time I had on Strictly Come Dancing but now I can feel good about it again.”