Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is suing the national gossip newspaper The Sun over claims his family’s safety was compromised last September.
Mike Ashley suing The Sun – but story seems true
This story appeared in the local Newcastle Evening Chronicle yesterday and we are taking most of the information from the local paper.
Ashley is apparently suing The Sun over a story on the paper’s front page, which had the headline: “Toon chief’s £125k binge” which was published last September, and was widely circulated on many different sites.
It contained a photograph of the bar bill while he was on business in New York, and as the Kevin Keegan affair was blowing up after September 1st. We commented on the story at the time but thought it was all made up.
Mike claims the article, photographs and a copy of his bar bill were published without his consent. But he is not arguing that they were factual, which is really disappointing because it means The Sun story was essentially accurate, and the law suit is that it compromised Mike’s privacy. More accurately it was embarrassing to the Newcastle United owner, and there are lower level clubs in England that could buy a couple of decent players for £125K.
The report included details that he had flown to New York in a private jet, had hosted a party at the Pink Elephant nightclub. It said why he had gone to the nightclub – which was to host a party for executives from the US entertainment industry, which he was interested in breaking into.
The story also included what he did, how much he paid for drinks – and that included the bill showing a breakdown of drinks and their cost – and how much he had tipped the waiters.
It was said that Mike hosted the party because he was trying to break into the entertainment scene in the US, and we recall the party was on the Wednesday evening (September 3rd) following the bust up between Kevin and the Board that had occurred on the previous Monday.
So in some ways Mike’s hands were tied to do much about that problem, and then on the following Friday (September 5th) Keegan finally resigned.
In a High Court writ, Ashley argues other facts which should have remained private included what he allegedly said about then manager Kevin Keegan, what time he left the night club and with whom, and where he stayed in New York. We remember that he was said to have left the club with girls on both his arms.
The writ also says the Sun story was a misuse of his private information and an intrusion into his private life, and an interference with his human rights – wow it sounds like an American law suit.
The billionaire is seeking aggravated damages, and he says The Sun did not warn him of the story, and so he did not have the chance to seek an injunction to prevent it from appearing.
We were hoping when we saw thi story, that Mike was suing the paper because the story was not true, but it seems it was – and that’s a pity – and it could make things even worse for him in the eyes of Newcastle United supporters.
He should have probably let this one lie.