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June 18, 2024

Joey Barton pays Jeremy Vine £75,000 to settle ‘bike nonce’ libel claim

Ex-footballer Barton has accepted his claims were "very serious" and "untrue".

By PA Media

Joey Barton has apologised to Jeremy Vine and agreed to pay the broadcaster £75,000 in damages to settle a High Court libel claim.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Barton said the allegations he made against Vine, including calling him a “bike nonce”, were “untrue”.

Vine had sued Barton for libel and harassment over 14 online posts, which included him calling Vine a “big bike nonce” and a “pedo defender” on X.

A High Court judge ruled last month that 11 of the posts could defame Mr Vine.

In a statement, Barton said: “Between 8 and 12 January 2024 I published 11 posts which accused Jeremy Vine of having a sexual interest in children, and created a hashtag which made the same allegations, which were viewed millions of times.

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“I recognise that this is a very serious allegation. It is untrue. I do not believe that Mr Vine has a sexual interest in children, and I wish to set the record straight.

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“I also published posts during the same period in which I referred to Mr Vine having advocated forced vaccination during the Covid 19 pandemic, based upon a video clip of his TV programme.

“I accept that he did not advocate this policy and that the video clip has been edited to give a misleading impression of what he was in fact saying.

“I then taunted and abused Mr Vine for bringing a legal complaint against me. I have agreed not to make the same allegations again about Mr Vine and I apologise to him for the distress he has suffered.

“To resolve his claims against me in defamation and harassment, I have agreed to pay Mr Vine £75,000 in damages and his legal costs.”

Lawyers for Vine told a hearing in London on 9 May that Barton posted several abusive tweets about the broadcaster in early January this year in a “calculated and sustained attack”.

Barton, who played for teams including Manchester City, Newcastle United, Rangers, and French side Marseille during his career, also began using “#bikenonce” on X, which led to it trending on the platform, the court was told.

Gervase de Wilde, representing Vine, said that the posts contained “clear references to [Vine] having a sexual interest in children” and that the word “nonce” had “an irreducible, defamatory meaning”.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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