Daily Mail pays £125k damages to TV psychic Sally Morgan for ‘charlatan’ comment
The Daily Mail has settled with TV psychic Sally Morgan for £125,000 plus substantial legal costs regarding a 2011 story which accused Sally Morgan of being a charlatan.
The settlement came before a lengthy libel trial. Morgan’s solicitor, Graham Atkis, this morning read out the terms of the agreed settlement.
The 2011 article “accused Mrs Morgan specifically of having used a hidden earpiece during her performance in order to receive instructions from her team which she then repeated on stage as if she had received them from the spirit world.
"The article thereby suggested that Mrs Morgan had deliberately and dishonestly perpetrated a scam on her audience in Dublin."
He said: "The suggestion that Mrs Morgan had cheated her Dublin audience by using an earpiece had originally arisen during a phone-in programme on Irish radio when two ladies who had attended the Dublin performance mentioned on air that they had been sitting at the back of the auditorium and thought they had heard two crew members saying something which Mrs Morgan had then repeated on stage.
"Following this, Mrs Morgan publicly stated that the suggestion she had cheated using an earpiece was nonsense, as did the theatre itself which put out a very clear press statement denying any scam. The crew members who were said to be part of the scam were sub-contracted by the theatre and were not members of Mrs Morgan's team.
"Despite these denials, the suggestions were repeated by the Daily Mail in an article written by the magician Paul Zenon, which was published in both the online and hard copy issues of the newspaper on 22 September 2011."
He commented that the allegation Morgan had cheated her audience was "completely false and defamatory of her" and had caused her "enormous distress". The Daily Mail has apologised for the statement, accepting that it was untrue, and has agreed to pay substantial damages and libel costs.
Brid Jordan, Daily Mail solicitor, said that the paper “withdraws the suggestion that Mrs Morgan used a secret earpiece at her Dublin show in September 2011 to receive messages from off-stage, thereby cheating her audience, which it accepts is untrue. It apologises unreservedly to Mrs Morgan for publishing the allegation”.
In 2011, Morgan, who claims to have had her first psychic experience aged nine, refused to take a test to connect with the spirits of ten dead women, set by author Simon Singh, to prove her abilities.
Morgan has performed over 600 shows; her latest séances are priced at around £25 a ticket and are performed in venues across the UK. She also runs a hotline ‘Contact Sally’ which costs £1.53 per minute.