Newspaper loses challenge over Niall Horan 'drugs' libel case
One Direction's Niall Horan has won a round in his libel case over articles which he says meant he used hard drugs during an evening with fellow musicians Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson.
The boyband star has sued Express Newspapers over articles which appeared in the Daily Star in July this year.
He claims they were defamatory because they meant that during an evening spent with Bieber and Simpson he had used hard drugs - crystal meth or crack.
The newspaper says that the articles do not bear the meaning alleged or any meaning defamatory of Horan - and asked Mr Justice Dingemans at London's High Court to stop the action in its tracks.
Today, the judge dismissed the application, saying that the article was capable of bearing the defamatory meaning claimed.
He said that this was supported by the extensive reference to a Breaking Bad style drugs pipe - Breaking Bad being a TV series centred around the manufacture and sale of hard drug crystal meth.
The banner headline was "new drug storm", the article reported that Horan was "staring blankly" and there was express reference to "rumours the singers were using hard drugs".
The inclusion of words that "there is no suggestion that this is the case" and reported requests from fans that Horan should not get into drugs - which at least carried the implication that Horan was not then currently into them - were matters to consider when the actual meaning of the article was determined, he added.
Horan was not in court for the ruling.