Joey Barton 'must pay extra £35,000' to settle libel claim with Jeremy Vine

19 June 2024, 10:42 | Updated: 19 June 2024, 14:46

Joey Barton must pay a further £35,000 in damages to settle a High Court libel claim with Jeremy Vine, the broadcaster's lawyers have said.

It follows the former footballer, 41, agreeing to pay £75,000 plus legal fees to the Radio 2 presenter, 59, after he sued him for libel and harassment in the High Court over 10 online posts in which he used a number of slurs and made unfounded allegations.

The ex-Manchester City player had posted a series of tweets during an online row with Vine in which he called him "bike nonce" - a term which the High Court ruled was defamatory.

In a statement on Tuesday, Barton said: "I recognise that this is a very serious allegation. It is untrue. I do not believe that Mr Vine has a sexual interest in children, and I wish to set the record straight."

He added: "I have agreed not to make the same allegations again about Mr Vine and I apologise to him for the distress he has suffered."

But lawyers for Vine said on Wednesday that a further payment of £35,000 was part of a "separate settlement" for claims published after the broadcaster initiated legal action.

In a statement, Samuels Solicitors said: "Mr Barton responded to being served with Mr Vine's claim by making additional damaging and untrue publications about Mr Vine and his legal complaints, including by making statements in a crowdfunding page which he has now admitted were false.

"Mr Barton's conduct gave rise to additional claims for defamation, harassment and invasion of privacy.

"Mr Barton's attempt to argue that these claims were also resolved by the first settlement and the payment of £75,000 were subsequently rejected by the court."

The law firm said Vine was "pleased that his claims have been resolved and that he has been vindicated in respect of Mr Barton's appalling allegations and conduct".

Vine made reference to this "parallel action" going through the court in a statement on Tuesday.

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He said that by paying £75,000 and apologising, Barton had only fulfilled an offer put on the table by Vine's lawyers after he published the first five defamatory posts and ignored the further five ruled as defamatory by Mrs Justice Steyn.

As part of the further settlement, Barton will also "participate in" a statement in court apologising for his actions and "give undertakings" not to repeat them, the law firm said.

'Calculated and sustained attack'

In court, lawyers for Vine said the abusive posts about the broadcaster were part of a "calculated and sustained attack" and Barton even used one particular phrase as part of a hashtag which ended up trending on the platform.

William McCormick KC, representing Barton, said at an earlier hearing that the posts contained "vulgar abuse" but did not libel Vine, and represented "someone who is posting in the heat of the moment".

But Mrs Justice Steyn said a reader would not have perceived the posts as "meaningless abuse 'shouted' in the heat of the moment, as there is nothing in the post that would give that impression".

Barton appeared to brush off the court decision on Tuesday, posting a video of him playing golf on X and writing "who is really winning?".