(not satire – it’s UK today)
Revealed – how Jimmy Savile used UK libel laws to cover his crimes
There’s a very interesting quote from Jimmy Savile contained in the report that was released yesterday into how he managed to get away with abusing hundreds of children and women for decades.
It comes on page 64 – when Savile reveals in a police interview in 2009 what he called his ‘policy’ on how he dealt with accusations of abuse.
You can read it for yourself in the report here, but basically he says he had a legal team on standby and would simply threaten anyone accusing him with libel.
He says they always backed down – including 5 newspapers who settled with him after he’d threatened to sue them.
So it turns out UK libel laws are not just an ass. They also enable rich and powerful people like Savile to get away with heinous crimes like child abuse.
Now I’ve written before about how in my opinion Lord McAlpine is cynically exploiting UK libel laws to try to shut up criticism of the rich and powerful:
And I’ve also written how McAlpine’s lawyers are most likely breaking the solicitors’ code of conduct in threatening twitter users:
But I wonder if McAlpine and his advisers have considered that while his policy of threatening everyone left right and centre with libel – in exactly the same way as Savile did – is paying him huge financial dividends, it’s entirely possible to win a legal battle but at the same time lose the moral and public relations one?
Related articles by Tom Pride:
Justice? McAlpine gets hundreds of thousands in compensation while child victims get next to nothing
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