Belfast Telegraph

Boyle wins 'racist' libel payout

Frankie Boyle said he was "very happy" after winning a libel fight with a tabloid newspaper which had described him as "racist".

A High Court jury awarded Boyle more than £54,000 damages after concluding that he had been defamed by the Daily Mirror.

Boyle, 40, from Glasgow, said he had sued because he had always "made a point" of being "anti-racist". He had claimed that a Daily Mirror article published on July 19 2011 defamed him by describing him as "Racist comedian Frankie Boyle" and saying he had been "forced to quit" BBC panel show Mock The Week.

Daily Mirror publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) defended the article. MGN said the "racist" description was either true or "honest comment on a matter of public interest". And the publisher said the words "forced to quit" did not mean that Mr Boyle had been sacked and were not defamatory.

Boyle, who said he would give the damages to charity, gave a v-for-victory sign as he left court and later tweeted his reaction.

"I'm very happy with the jury's decision and their unanimous rejection of the Mirror's allegation that I am a racist," said Mr Boyle on Twitter.

"Racism is still a very serious problem in society which is why I've made a point of always being anti-racist in my life and work and that's why I brought this action."

MGN lawyers had told jurors that Boyle was a "racist comedian" who gratuitously exploited negative stereotypes of black people for "cheap laughs".

Boyle said he actively campaigned against racism and parodied racists - and claimed that the Daily Mirror had "misunderstood" the context of his use of language in jokes.

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