One of Wayne Rooney’s uncles today accepted undisclosed libel damages and a public apology from the BBC over a BBC Breakfast discussion broadcast about a newspaper article indicating he had been involved in violence at Coleen McLoughlin’s 18th birthday.
Solicitor Jacob Dean representing John Morrey, told Mr Justice David Eady at London’s High Court that the Daily Mail article was headlined: “Coleen puts a wedding day ban on Rooney clan”.
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He said the article was about how Coleen McLoughlin had banned members of Rooney’s family from the forthcoming wedding because of fears that violent scenes at her 18th birthday party would be repeated.
But Dean said that unfortunately, a photograph of Morrey had been used in error by the Daily Mail to accompany the original article.
He continued : ‘When the relevant page of the newspaper was shown on camera, the broadcast footage wrongly conveyed the impression to viewers that there were grounds to suspect Mr Morrey had been involved in the violent scenes at Coleen’s 18th birthday party and that concerns that he might become involved in a similar incident at Wayne and Coleen’s wedding had led him to be banned from the event.”
He said that the BBC had now agreed to join in a statement in open court to make clear that Morrey had not been at the 18th birthday party and not been involved in any violence alleged to have take place at it. They had also agreed to pay his legal costs and damages.
For the BBC solicitor David Glen said they apologised to Morrey for the damage caused to his reputation and the distress which the broadcast footage had caused him.