25 March 2009
Ex-Eastenders star launches libel claim
A former cast member on popular British soap Eastenders has begun legal proceedings in a case of alleged libel.
Mohammed George, who played Gus in the TV show, is seeking damages from the Sun newspaper over a story it printed concerning an argument he had with his girlfriend, the Press Gazette reports.
In an article printed by the publication, it was alleged that he flew into a rage in the early hours of the morning on December 3rd 2006 and beat up his then girlfriend and mother of his child.
Speaking to jurors in a London hearing, George's legal representative said: "He wants to complain ... about articles that appeared in the Sun newspaper about him which he says seriously and unfairly damaged his reputation."
He added that the actor said the story provided "a false picture" and had affected his prospects as an actor.
News Group Newspapers, which publishes the Sun - as well as the News of the World and the Times - denies libel and the case remains ongoing.
Sarah Webb, head of the media and libel at Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "We will follow with interest Mohammed George's action against the Sun for libel - he is complaining that they accused him of being a 'wife beater and coward'.
"No doubt Mr George will be hoping that he fairs better than the last Eastender's star to sue the sun. Gillian Taylforth famously lost her action against them following the late production by George Carman QC of a damaging video of her.
"It is also the first libel trial for newly appointed High Court Judge Ms Justice Victoria Sharp QC."