Daily Mail Pays £125k Damages Plus Costs to TV Psychic Sally Morgan Over 'Charlatan' Report (June 20, 2013)
From PressGazette (June 20, 2013):
”The Daily Mail has agreed to pay TV psychic Sally Morgan £125,000 in damages as well as legal costs over a 2011 story which accused her of being a charlatan.
[Her solicitor Graham Atkins] said the allegation Morgan had cheated her audience was "completely false and defamatory of her" and had caused her "enormous distress". The Daily Mail has now accepted the allegation was untrue, he said, and agreed to pay "substantial damages" and libel costs.
Legal costs are likely to be substantial in view of the fact that the case [is] on the brink of going to a three-week trial which had been set to start this month.”
This is an extremely important precedent, as it will have far-reaching consequences in the way skeptics use derogatory language against specific mediums. Now, if anyone claims or imputes that a specific genuine medium is a fraud, the medium could sue for defamation.
This is good news if it means that anyone who would, for example, accuse scientists recording afterlife phenomena as merely performing "simple conjuring tricks" will perhaps think again before repeating such remarks.
It remains to be seen what, in future, will be the reaction to anyone asserting that, for example, ”all mediums are frauds”.
We appear to have come a long way since the trial and subsequent incarceration of the materialisation medium Helen Duncan in 1944 under the 1735 Witchcraft Act.
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PressGazette: Daily Mail pays £125k damages plus costs to TV psychic Sally Morgan over 'charlatan' report (June 20, 2013)