11 March 2009
PR expert sues over alleged libel
Public relations (PR) professional Justine McGuinness is suing the Mirror Group Newspapers over alleged libel.
The expert, who worked as a communications strategist for Kate and Gerry McCann's Find Madeleine Fund for three months, is taking legal action over a story which appeared in The People in October 2007.
She claims that the article, which was entitled "Woman who cost Maddie fund £51k", was defamatory, the Press Gazette reports.
In a writ, Ms McGuinness says that the story suggested she had deliberately ripped off the fund by overcharging the McCanns for expenses to which she was not entitled and that she exaggerated her overtime.
She added that the article states that, because of this, she was forced to quit her role
Ms McGuinness said the allegations damaged her reputation, casting doubt on her integrity and honesty.
She is now seeking damages and aggravated damages for libel from the Mirror Group Newspapers, which publishes more than 150 regional newspapers, five national newspapers and is responsible for over 200 websites.