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Paul Gascoigne wins The Sun 'groping' story libel case

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Paul Gascoigne

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Paul Gascoigne has today won a high court apology from The Sun over a story that wrongly alleged he had groped a shop assistant.

According to news agency reports, the ex-England footballer was not in court today to hear the verdict of his libel action against News Group Newspapers, the News International-owned publisher of The Sun.

The case pertained to a July 2010 story, titled "Its Paw Gascoigne", that claimed an assistant in a chemists had said Gascoigne placed a hand on her breast.

Gascoigne's counsel Richard Pitkethly told Justice Tugendhat that The Sun had approached the story fairly, by arranging an interview with the woman and then reporting her version of events.

However, the assistant later changed her statement on Gascoigne's actions in another article published elsewhere.

"The allegation was published in good faith but it was nevertheless false," Pitkethly told the judge.

"Mr Gascoigne did not grope the shop assistant as alleged in the article, or at all, and the defendant now accepts this."

The lawyer revealed that Gascoigne had settled the matter privately with News Group Newspapers, and the article had been removed from The Sun's website.

Ben Beasby, the solicitor representing NGN, apologised for any distress or embarrassment caused by the article.

Last week, Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey was awarded "substantial" damages against the Daily Mail over an article that wrongly claimed he had been banned from a bar in France for drunken behaviour.

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