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.
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.