Lawsuit Over Libel

Mar 13 08:49 2009 Tom Heath Print This Article

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How many times do we hear about stories where people purposely set out to defame another person’s character? Did you hear about the story of Madeline McCann? It has been all over the newspaper,Guest Posting television and Internet, to say the least. This fund was set up by Kate and Gerry McCann to help aid in the search and rescue of their daughter Madeline who went missing from her room while the family was on vacation.


Public relations expert Justine McGuiness is suing Mirror Group Newspapers because of an article that appeared in the People magazine in October 2007. Justine was supposed to be an advocate on behalf of the McCanns to raise money to aid in the search for their daughter. The article claimed that she overcharged the McCanns for expenses and in turn it cost the family $51,000 of their funds that had been raised. The story claimed that she was charging them for things that she was not entitled to receive, and inflating her overtime hours far beyond what she was supposed to be working. She has stated that since the story it has caused defamation of character and embarrassment. She said this has hurt her job considerably and caused a lot of problems for her. 


After the story appeared her reputation was tarnished because people did not want to hear what she had to say, and assumed she was doing something illegal because this was a story heard all over the world. It put everything she did in jeopardy, and her honesty and integrity were continuously questioned. She claims that she would never go out and do something like this to rob money from a very worthwhile and profitable cause. She has complained to the newspaper, but yet they refuse to do anything or offer any type of apology. The newspaper fully stands behind what they said, and it was published in other media as well.


This story was not just something that happened and then nobody heard any more about it. It was a story that was widely publicized for quite some time, and for someone who was supposed to be supporting the cause to do what was done was seen to be inexcusable. If she did not do anything wrong, then there should have been no reason for her to stop working on the fundraising efforts. People think that if someone is fully supportive of a cause and believes that they are doing the right thing, then there should be no reason whatsoever to stray away from the search.


She should have stayed with the McCann’s and helped them continue their search and fund raising efforts, but instead she walked away and decided ‘this is not for me’. Why would anyone walk away from helping a family with their charity pr, after they had put so much effort into the cause? It just doesn’t make any sense and perhaps someone found her out? In time the answer will reveal itself, and the truth will be known.

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Tom Heath
Tom Heath

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