George Best's sister in libel win over memorabilia lies
Football legend George Best's sister is to receive substantial libel damages over unfounded allegations about the sale of his trophies and memorabilia, the High Court has heard today.
Apologies were also issued to Barbara McNarry as part of settlements reached with the publishers of two national newspapers and a celebrity magazine.
Mrs McNarry sued over comments attributed to the late Manchester United and Northern Ireland star's son, Calum Best, in articles which appeared in the Daily Mail, Daily Star and OK! Magazine.
But a judge in Belfast was told yesterday that the actions are to be stayed on terms endorsed.
It is understood that Mrs McNarry, who helped set up the George Best Foundation following his death in 2005 to raise money for local football and research into liver disease, is to receive five-figure sums from each of the defendants.
As part of the resolution, statements were read out in open court by a legal representative for the publishers of both newspapers.
One of them set out how an article published in the Daily Star last October under the headline 'Calum Best: How can aunt flog dad's treasures?' contained "unfounded and unjustified allegations" regarding Mrs McNarry.
It said: "The defendant acknowledges that it was in fact the decision of the executor of the estate, albeit with Mrs McNarry's reluctant consent, to auction some of the late footballer's trophies and memorabilia, in order to discharge the estate's debts and that this caused considerable distress to Mrs McNarry."
Mrs McNarry was not in court, but her lawyer later outlined her regret at having to take legal action.