Joey Barton to pay Jeremy Vine £75,000 over defamatory posts

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Joey Barton has apologised to Jeremy Vine and agreed to pay him £75,000 in damages for making defamatory comments on social media.

A High Court judge ruled last month that comments former footballer Mr Barton made about Mr Vine on X were defamatory.

Mr Barton said in a statement on Tuesday that he apologised “for the distress” Mr Vine has suffered.

He said he had agreed to pay the damages and legal costs to resolve the claims.

In the statement shared on X, Mr Barton wrote: “Between 8 and 12 January 2024 I published 11 posts which accused Jeremy Vine of having a sexual interest in children, and created a hashtag which made the same allegations, which were viewed millions of times.

“I recognise that this is a very serious allegation. It is untrue. I do not believe that Mr Vine has a sexual interest in children, and I wish to set the record straight.

“I also published posts during the same period in which I referred to Mr Vine having advocated forced vaccination during the Covid 19 pandemic, based upon a video clip of his TV programme.

“I accept that he did not advocate this policy and that the video clip has been edited to give a misleading impression of what he was in fact saying.

“I then taunted and abused Mr Vine for bringing a legal complaint against me. I have agreed not to make the same allegations again about Mr Vine and I apologise to him for the distress he has suffered.

“To resolve his claims against me in defamation and harassment, I have agreed to pay Mr Vine £75,000 in damages and his legal costs.”

Warning: this article contains strong language

The former Premier League footballer turned manager Mr Barton, 41, had called Mr Vine, 59, a “bike nonce” and “pedo defender”.

In a High Court ruling last month, Mrs Justice Steyn ruled that 11 posts could defame Mr Vine, who works for the BBC.

Mr Vine’s barrister, Gervase de Wilde, told the court earlier this month that the abuse began after Mr Vine responded to a post in which Mr Barton compared football pundits Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward to serial killers Fred and Rose West.

That prompted the broadcaster to ask whether Mr Barton, who was manager of Bristol Rovers until October last year, had a brain injury.

Mr Barton then began a series of posts criticising women involved in football and football punditry.

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Then at the beginning of this year, he published several posts about Mr Vine to his 2.8 million followers on X.

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