Noel Clarke appeared in London’s High Court on Thursday for his libel battle against The Guardian newspaper over allegations of sexual misconduct.
The British actor, producer and director was accused of sexual harassment, bullying and inappropriate behaviour across eight articles in The Guardian in 2021.
The 47-year-old, who has always denied the claims, is now seeking £13 million (£10 million) in damages from the newspaper to compensate for the “devastating” impact the allegations have had on his career, reputation and finances.
The Doctor Who actor sat behind his lawyer, Adam Speker KC, during a preliminary hearing into the case on Thursday.
“Over a series of days at the end of April 2021 and the beginning of May 2021, Guardian News and Media Limited (GNM) chose to label (Clarke) as a sexual predator and accuse him of having acted improperly towards a large number of women in a sexual and criminal way over many years,” Speker said, reports The Standard.
“This trial by media, conducted by the most read newspaper for people in the film and entertainment industry, led, unsurprisingly, to (Clarke) being ‘cancelled’ in various ways.”
The first article was published days after the Boyhood actor was honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema BAFTA. The prize was rescinded and Clarke’s membership was suspended.
Speker argued that BAFTA executives must have believed the allegations to make that “extraordinary” decision.
Gavin Millar KC, representing The Guardian, defended the stories in a written argument, insisting the “investigation was deeply reported and researched, relying on the testimony of 20 women, all of whom knew Noel Clarke in a professional capacity”.
They stated, “We stand by our reporting and will be robustly defending our journalism.”
The legal battle continues.
– Cover Media