UK

Blair adviser Carole Caplin wins Daily Mail libel damages

  • 1 November 2011
  • From the section UK
Media captionCarole Caplin: ''I felt I had to take action over this particular Daily Mail invention''

Tony and Cherie Blair's former lifestyle consultant Carole Caplin has won "substantial" libel damages from the Daily Mail at the High Court.

She sued after the paper published an article headed "Carole's £1m question: Will she tell all about the Blairs' sex secrets?"

Outside the court she said that this was "offensive, damaging and wrong".

It has also been revealed that she was a victim of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Ms Caplin, 49, who runs Cool Health Ltd, said over 17 years she had endured, without comment, a succession of articles full of "hurtful innuendo, wild imaginings and totally groundless allegations."

"However, I felt I had to take action over this particular Daily Mail (article).

"That I would break the trust that clients have the right to expect from me, for financial reward, is offensive, damaging and wrong."

Sex life

Ms Caplin's barrister, David Price QC, had told the court in London that the article alleged that she might have been about to reveal intimate details about the Blairs in a book.

He said she had never had any intention of disclosing any confidential information about the couple.

"It was claimed that Ms Caplin had insisted that Mrs Blair tell her every last detail of their sex life and that publication of these revelations would blow the lid on the Blairs' marriage and finish them.

"The article also suggested that Ms Caplin had financial difficulties and that she would receive significant financial reward for her book."

But as she had stated "consistently and unequivocally" over several years she never had any intention of disclosing any confidential information concerning the Blairs.

Massages

"In any event, Ms Caplin does not possess any sex secrets or other information that could 'finish' them," he said, adding that Ms Caplin was not in any financial difficulties.

Mr Price said the article "may also have been understood" to mean that "massages given by Ms Caplin to Mr Blair" were "in some way improper".

He said there was no basis for such an allegation and added: "The defendant has stated that it did not intend to convey such an impression and has apologised if this was the case."

Associated Newspapers - owners of the Daily Mail - had made an "offer of amends" and the offer had been accepted by Ms Caplin, who was at the hearing.

Ms Caplin had been paid a "substantial sum in damages to be assessed if not agreed" and her legal costs.

In a separate development Ms Caplin says she has been told by police that her mobile phone messages were hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

The alleged hacking by Glenn Mulcaire occurred in 2002.

A spokeswoman for Ms Caplin said hers was one of the earliest cases so far discovered, and the police investigation had yet to uncover all the available evidence.

"Once she is able to establish the extent of this invasion of her privacy, Ms Caplin will decide what further action to take," she added.

Both the Metropolitan Police and News International, which published the News of the World, declined to comment.

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