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Actor Jimmy's anger over 'cheap libel'.

Auf Wiedersehen Pet star Jimmy Nail claimed yesterday his pounds 30,000 damages for false allegations about his sexual behaviour and prima donna attitude made libel 'cheap at the price' for newspapers.

The 50-year-old actor and singer was launching the first challenge at the Court of Appeal to the 'offer of amends' procedure in libel cases.

Mr Justice Eady cut the libel awards facing the News of the World and publishers Harper Collins by half at the High Court in March because they had made immediate apologies and offers of recompense.

Nail previously apologised to his Welsh wife Miriam, from Anglesey, in the High Court as she listened to 'horrid' and untrue stories about his private life.

Hugh Tomlinson QC said the pounds 22,500 awarded against the News of the World and pounds 7,500 against Harper Collins was not enough.

'Damages should not be set at a level which makes libel cheap at the price,' he said.

Mr Nail sued over a May 2002 article in the News of the World, and a 1998 biography of him by Geraint Jones entitled Nailed.

Nail said sitting down and attempting to explain the 'inexplicable, disgraceful, disgusting article' to his partner, Miriam, and their two sons Tom, 17, and Fred, 14, was one 'of the worst experiences of my life'.

The overlapping allegations were that he had engaged in grubby, obscene and depraved sexual behaviour, had greedily used his ownership of the original 'Oz' character's leather jacket to secure more money for himself, and had behaved like a prima donna. Judgment was reserved.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 11, 2004
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