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  1. Media Law
January 23, 2015

Paul Gascoigne sues Daily Star over ‘drunken betting spree’ front page

By William Turvill

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne is suing Express Newspapers again after winning damages from publisher less than a year ago.

Gascoigne has submitted a High Court claim form against the Daily Star for a September 2013 story headlined: "Gazza on drunken betting spree".

The website story, which is the subject of the claim form and remains online, is headlined: “EXCLUSIVE: Gazza blows £4k on bets during two-day bender”. 

This High Court action, for an undisclosed amount, comes after Gascoigne won damages from Express Newspapers in March last year. This related to video published online showing him in a drunken and incoherent state.

The story which is the subject of the latest claim by Gascoigne also reports that Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond contributed to a £100,000 fund to send him to an American rehab centre.

The claim form, seen by Press Gazette, said that the information in this story was “false” and “constituted a breach of confidence, an infringement of… privacy and a misuse of private information”.

Gascoigne’s lawyers argued that the “burden of proof” is on the newspaper and that “there was no or no legitimate justification for this intrusion into” his private life.

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The claim form said Gascoigne is “an extremely vulnerable individual as a result of his alcoholism”. It said: “His condition is chronic and has at times been life-threatening. His treatment for alcoholism is therefore of the utmost importance to [him].”

The claim form added: “The article made no contribution to any debate of general interest to society. The information published in a wholly sensationalist manner.”

Gascoigne’s lawyers also said the “purpose” of the Star piece was “solely to satisfy the curiosity of its readership”.

It is claimed that the story was published with “lawful justification” and despite Gascoigne’s “extreme vulnerability”.

It said the former footballer was “extremely embarrassed by the events in the betting shop” and that the article had breached article 8 (right to privacy) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Gascoigne claimed the article led to him being "identified in the national press as having suffered a relapse into alcoholism" and "falsely implies that [he] has an additional addiction".

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