Actor and comedian Johnny Vegas has initiated legal proceedings against Guardian News & Media - part of the Guardian Media Group - over alleged libel, it has been revealed.
The larger-than-life television personality claims that articles published in the Guardian and Observer which suggested that he had molested a woman during a stand-up performance were libellous.
One story was entitled "Since when is sexual assault funny?".
Reporter Mary O'Hara, who was in the audience for one of Vegas' gigs at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, suggested that the comic had "gratuitously groped a woman on stage".
Meanwhile, a follow-up story in the Observer written by Jackie Clune was called "Sorry, but that really isn't funny, Johnny".
The two pieces have since been removed from the Guardian website.
Commenting on the case, a spokeswoman from the Guardian told the Press Gazette: "We've received a complaint from his solicitors and we are investigating it."