Queen's Nephew Awarded Libel DamagesAP , Associated Press
Mar. 29, 1990 10:11 PM ET
LONDON (AP) _ A High Court jury on Thursday awarded Queen Elizabeth II's nephew, Viscount Linley, $56,000 in libel damages from a newspaper that claimed the 28-year-old furniture designer was banned from a London pub for throwing beer.
The award, against the Today newspaper over a March 1989 story, included $48,000 in punitive damages. The newspaper said it would appeal.
Brian Murphy, lawyer for Princess Margaret's son, said the punitive damages were waived in a settlement reached by both sides after the decision was announced.
''He has no desire that this matter should continue to be litigated,'' Murphy said. ''He did not wish that any stigma should attach to the integrity of Today's staff journalist.''
Today accepted that the story about the alleged incident at the Ferret and Firkin pub was untrue. But the newspaper testified that the source was the pub's manager, Carolyn Peacock.
Mrs. Peacock, who now manages another pub, testified for Linley and denied telling reporters about him.
''I would not have recognized Viscount Linley if I'd seen him, I'm afraid,'' she said.
Linley is 12th in line to the British throne.
The first time she saw Viscount was the day the article was published, she said, when he came into the pub to talk to her about it.
Two freelance journalists and a Today staff reporter said Mrs. Peacock had spoke to them and they denied inventing the story.
Today will have to pay legal costs, estimated at $121,500, the Press Association, Britain's domestic news agency reported.