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The sunday Times apologises to ex-partner of Belle de Jour author

The sunday Times has made a formal apology in the High Court to Owen Morris, former partner of Belle De Jour author Brooke Magnanti, and agreed to pay substantial damages and legal costs over allegations made in the newspaper in 2010.

Belle de Jour was initially a popular anonymous blog that documented Magnanti's encounters as a London prostitute, as well as her relationship with Morris. The blog was later published as a book and was turned into a TV show.

Morris was accused by The sunday Times of threats of violence towards Ms Magnanti and threats to release her identity to the public, (which remained unknown until 2009 when it was released by her own accord), for his own financial gain. The sunday Times also wrongly alleged that the author had been awarded a restraining order against her former boyfriend.

Mr Morris, who previously held the position of Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force until 2011, told Mr Justice Tugendhat of the effects of the defamatory remarks made against him causing him much distress and had a negative effect on his personal life and professional life, suggesting it may have caused the downfall of his career in the air force.

The sunday Times accepted the allegations were false and offered their profound apologies to Mr Morris.

In a separate matter, Mr Morris has recently stated that he is commencing legal proceedings against Ms Magnanti for breach of privacy.


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