• STV
  • MySTV

News of the World pay Artur Boruc £70,000 in defamation case

The newspaper accepts it was taken in by a fake expose about the former Celtic goalkeeper's sex life.

Claims: Boruc was falsely accused of cheating on his pregnant girlfriend.

The owners of the News of the World have apologised to former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc and agreed to pay £70,000 after being taken in by a sham expose of his sex life.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard that the newspaper was caught out by a man who concocted a "highly complex deceit" to make it appear that the footballer was sending X-rated text messages and pictures behind his pregnant girlfriend's back.

Boruc, now with Italian side Fiorentina, denied the claims and raised a £200,000 defamation action after the News of the World published a story in its Scottish edition last July.

On Friday Lord Woolman heard that the newspaper had made a full apology and agreed to pay £70,000, believed to be a record for an out-of-court settlement in a Scottish defamation case.

The newspaper will also pay the footballer's legal expenses, which include fees for expert witnesses who analysed phone recordings and examined mobile phone details in the case.

The News of the World's lawyers named Kevin O'Donnell, of Cambuslang, Glasgow, as the man behind the sting operation.

The court was told he wove a web of elaborate lies, with many interlinked strands which appeared to corroborate the story, which only fell apart when experts scrutinised the phone details.

He set up a fake Facebook page and added bogus comments purporting to come from Boruc's girlfriend, Sara Manei, to back up the false allegations.

He even photoshopped a photo of a man's torso to add a distinctive monkey tattoo, similar to one Boruc was known to have, to the navel.

The scam only unravelled when mobile phone records showed calls had been made from a Glasgow hotel at a time when Mr Boruc, 31, was on holiday in Sardinia.

Roddy Dunlop, QC, for the tabloid's publishers, said they thought they had good reason to carry the story but had been "victim of a highly complex deceit by one man."

Mr Dunlop said that as soon as the newspaper realised what had happened they made an offer to settle the action.

"The defenders (News Group) accept that they were entirely taken in by this fraud but they were not reckless or irresponsible in the beliefs that they held," he said.

Graeme Henderson, acting for Boruc, said the allegation of sending the explicit messages had been extremely upsetting.

He said footballers "outed" for misbehaviour faced being pilloried by rival fans and Ms Manei was pregnant at the time.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.