Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Paper 'paid man' to make false Louis Walsh sex allegation

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

A tabloid newspaper tried to “take out Louis Walsh as a public person” by paying a man to make a false sex assault allegation, it has been claimed in an Irish court.

The High Court in Dublin heard that Leonard Watters allegedly met Sun journalist Joanne McElgunn for dinner where she offered to pay him if he made a complaint to gardai “about being assaulted” in a nightclub toilet.

Watters (24), from Navan, Co Meath, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment last January after pleading guilty to making two false reports to gardai that Mr Walsh sexually assaulted him in a toilet in Dublin's Krystle nightclub on April 9 last year.

X Factor judge Mr Walsh is suing Newsgroup Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, for defamation over an article it published on June 23 last.

The paper accepted the accusation was false but denied defamation, saying that it had acted fairly.

Mr Walsh is now seeking access to documents which will allegedly show that The Sun offered to pay Watters to make the false complaint.

Senior counsel Jim O'Callaghan, for Mr Walsh, told the court that The Sun had “directed the operation to take out Louis Walsh as a public person”.

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