COURT CASE: Naomi Campbell
NAOMI CAMPBELL has won “substantial” damages from the Daily Telegraph over an article that wrongly claimed she organised an elephant polo tournament in India.
The broadsheet also issued an apology to the supermodel for the article, published on November 3, 2012, which falsely stated that she planned the controversial sport for a birthday party in Jodhpur, reports The Guardian.
Campbell had complained that the article, titled 'Elephant polo at Campbell’s party criticised,' damaged her reputation.
According to her lawyers, the online article prompted protests against Campbell by animal rights groups and also led to Indian government departments writing to Campbell’s representative to complain.
In a statement read at the high court today [Jan 31], Gideon Benaim, the lawyer for Campbell, said that the paper had agreed to apologise and withdraw the allegations.
Her lawyer also said that the article had caused “a storm if adverse publicity” against the supermodel.
He added: “Readers were told elephant polo was cruel and depended upon the violent abuse of the animals by the mahouts who trained them and that they were consistently kept in chains and driven insane by their treatment.
“In fact, the story was simply false and the criticisms unfounded. There were never any plans for an elephant polo tournament at the birthday party celebration and Ms Campbell had neither organised nor requested the organisation of any such tournament.”
A lone statement on The Telegraph, read: "Contrary our article “Naomi Campbell accused of promoting animal cruelty over elephant polo match” (Nov 3, 2012), in a statement read to the High Court today we accepted that there were no plans for an elephant polo match to mark Ms Campbell’s partner’s 50th birthday celebrations. We apologised to her and agreed to pay her damages and costs."