RICHARD Desmond, Chairman of Northern and Shell, which owns the Daily Express and Sunday Express newspapers, tonight expressed satisfaction at the end of his three week High Court battle against the journalist Tom Bower.Unfortunately he seems to have forgotten to mention that he lost the case and has to pay an estimated £1.25m in legal bills. Oops! On an unrelated note, I'd just like to express my satisfaction at Cristiano Ronaldo's excellent penalty against Liverpool at Old Trafford in March; beautifully tucked away, and a fitting reward for our domination. It was great to see my team showing Liverpool such grit, determination and skill, and it really shut their fans right up.
Mr. Desmond said: “I sued Mr Bower for defamation because he made inaccurate and damaging allegations about me, yet he refused to apologise and publish a correction.
"Bower made a series of errors about events and timings and even got the name of one of my newspapers wrong.
"His biggest mistake was in thinking I would not go to court to uphold my reputation and the resulting action has cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds to defend a few ill-thought-out remarks that were not even essential to his book.”
Mr. Desmond concluded: “It was worth it to stand up in court and set the record straight.”
My favourite thing about that Express article is that the case was partly about Richard Desmond contesting claims that he interfered with his newspaper's editiorial policy. I think the even-handed and wonderfully non-partisan treatment the Express has given this story conclusively shows this not to be true in any way.