The Sun has apologised to Louis Walsh after a front page headline “wrongly suggested” he had been involved in a Britain’s Got Talent “fix”.
The News UK title, which has previously paid Walsh £400,000 in damages for defamation over a different story, issued a clarification on page two of the newspaper today.
The 15 March story, headlined “Louis in BGT fix”, was written after Walsh’s band “sailed through” the auditions of Britain’s Got Talent and quoted an anonymous source as saying it looked like “fast-tracking”. It has now been removed from The Sun's website.
Walsh’s lawyers handled the matter and the Press Complaints Commission was not involved.
Today’s apology said: “A headline in our 15 March article on Britain’s Got Talent wrongly suggested that Louis Walsh had been involved in a “fix” on the show.
“We wish to make clear that we fully accept that Louis Walsh has not acted wrongfully or improperly in any way in relation to the show.
“We apologise to Louis for the embarrassment caused.”
In November 2012, The Sun was forced to pay out £403,500 in damages to Walsh after he brought defamation action against News Group Newspapers in Ireland.
The out-of-court deal was reached after the music mogul sued the paper for a false allegation that he sexually assaulted a man – who was subsequently jailed for wrongly accusing Walsh of groping him – in a Dublin nightclub after a Westlife concert.
A Sun spokesman said: "We published a wording agreed with Louis Walsh's lawyers and we now consider the matter settled."