Saturday, August 05, 2006

Things are Hairy in Scotland

Hairy MP wins sex scandal case - World - smh.com.au: "A Scottish Socialist MP has his excessive body hair to thank for a startling victory over the might of Britain's most aggressive tabloid newspaper.

Tommy Sheridan, 42, has been found by a jury to have been wronged by the Murdoch-owned News Of The World paper, which had accused him of being a serial adulterer and patron of swingers' clubs.

In a libel case that has transfixed Scotland for weeks, more than a dozen witnesses appeared to corroborate the newspaper's claims, including three women who reported having participated in orgies with Mr Sheridan.

Several of the former party leader's colleagues testified that he had admitted during a party meeting to frequenting swingers' clubs.

Even the Scottish Socialist Party leader, Colin Fox, confirmed Mr Sheridan's admission, and questioned his judgement in bringing the 200,000 euros ($500,000) action against the paper.

At one stage the popular MP sacked his defence team and proceeded to represent himself, quizzing women who claimed to have spanked him, rolled ice cubes around his body and taken cocaine with him. But it was Mr Sheridan's wife, Gail, who fed the defence its silver bullet.

Under heavy cross-examination by her husband, Gail Sheridan confessed to feeling surprised that none of his alleged paramours had mentioned his luxuriant body hair.

'You're like a monkey,' she told her husband in court. 'Anybody rolling an ice cube round your body would have had a hair ball in their throat.'

Mr Sheridan, in summarising his case, offered to disrobe to reinforce this point, but was restrained by the judge.

Early on Friday, however, the jury returned a verdict in favour of the MP, awarding the full amount of damages to be paid by the News Of The World."

2 comments:

Jeff Meyerson said...

It's always good to see a victory over the foreces of evil, i.e. Rupert Murdoch.

Brent McKee said...

It is one of the more brilliant aspects of the British legal system that in a charge of libel it is not the obligation of the party bringing suit to prove that something untrue, or to prove that they have been damaged, but the obligation of the defendant to prove that they can show that something is true. The Liberace case is a famous one, as is the more recent McDonald's case.