Val Myers v Sandra Ong and Val Myers v Jennifer Ryce – Defendants apologise for making false complaints against award-winning line dancing instructor
Val Myers has accepted apologies from Sandra Ong and Jennifer Ryce in relation to false and defamatory complaints they made to the Best Western Dance Academy (BWDA) which led to his suspension from the organisation.
Mr Myers, a client of Brett Wilson LLP, has run the highly successful line dancing club AB Coasters in Harrow since February 2004. He is a well-known choreographer and teacher within the line dancing world having created a popular programme for beginners. In 2010 Ms Ong established her own rival line dancing club Saints In-Line.
Between November 2012 and May 2013 Ms Ong and Ms Ryce sent a number of emails to the BWDA which contained false complaints against Mr Myers. These included allegations that Mr Myers had physically assaulted Ms Ryce, that he was harassing members of the line dancing community and seeking to disrupt the running of Saints In-Line. Ms Ong sought his removal as the Area Representative of the BWDA.
On 7 April 2014 Ms Ryce joined Mr Myers in making a statement in the High Court before Mr Justice Tugendhat. She accepted that the statements she had made were false and defamatory, formally withdrew them and apologised to Mr Myers. She has undertaken to the Court not to repeat the same or similar allegations and has agreed to pay Mr Myers' legal costs.
On 16 May 2014 Ms Ong joined Mr Myers in making a statement in the High Court before Mr Justice Tugendhat. She accepted that the statements she had made were false and defamatory, formally withdrew them and apologised to Mr Myers. She has undertaken to the Court not to repeat the same or similar allegations and has agreed to pay Mr Myers' legal costs.
Full copies of the statements can be found below:-
Following the hearing on 14 May 2014, Solicitor Iain Wilson made the following statement on Mr Myers' behalf:-
“Mr Myers brought these claims upon discovering that the defendants had made a series of false and defamatory complaints to the Best Western Dance Academy – an organisation responsible for promoting line dancing in the UK. The allegations were serious and included a complaint that Mr Myers had physically assaulted Ms Ryce. They were taken as being credible and Mr Myers was suspended from the BWDA. The false allegations damaged Mr Myers’ reputation in a field and vocation about which he cares dearly and in which he is a well-known figure. They have caused him a considerable amount of distress and humiliation. Mr Myers felt compelled to bring these proceedings in order to set the record straight. He is pleased that the defendants have both now publicly withdrawn the allegations, accepted that they are false, undertaken to the court not to repeat them and apologised for the damage caused.”
Partner with conduct: Iain Wilson
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