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Elton John sues 'The Times' over tax avoidance story

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Elton John

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Sir Elton John has sued The Times for libel in relation to articles about tax avoidance.

The singer said that he was falsely linked to a story by-lined "the secrets of tax avoiders", which stated that Patrick McKenna was his former accountant.

The High Court papers state that the article had implied John was advised to take part in tax avoidance schemes.

The Times later published a correction confirming that McKenna had never been the star's personal accountant.

John's lawyers described the correction as "wholly inadequate", and that the four-line apology was not given fair prominence to the original story, and that it had "deliberately ignored the defamatory impact".

John has stated his concern that the article would have a negative effect on his charity work.

"The allegations are particularly damaging to the claimant's reputation in the sphere of charity fundraising," William McCormick QC said.

His lawyers added that the articles caused him "severe damage to his reputation and personal distress and embarrassment" and they are seeking damages for "the sense of insult and injury".

The newspaper's correction had stated: "We have been asked to make clear that the film finance partnerships arranged by Ingenious Media, whose CEO is Patrick McKenna, do not offer schemes of this type and they have not been involved in moving money offshore to avoid tax.

"It was not our intention to make such an allegation and we are happy to make the position clear."

Stars including Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow were recently accused of being involved in some form of legal tax avoidance in recent years.

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