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Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
# Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh takes defamation case against Newsgroup
The X Factor judge is suing over an article published in the Sun newspaper in June last year.

X FACTOR JUDGE and Westlife manager Louis Walsh is back in court today for the initial hearing of his defamation case against the publisher of the Sun newspaper.

The television personality is suing Newsgroup for defamation arising out of a debunked story – entitled “Louis probed over ‘sex attack on man in loo’”- printed on 23 June 2011.

Crime writer Joanne McElgunn wrote about a Garda investigation into a claim by 24-year-old Leonard Watters that Walsh had sexually assaulted him in the toilet of a Dublin nightclub. Watters was subsequently sentenced to six months in jail for making false statements to authorities. The Meath native pleaded guilty to making up reports that the pop mogul had groped him in the Krystle nightclub in April 2011.

Walsh has sued for damages, including for aggravated and exemplary damages.

The Sun has denied defamation.

The High Court listings show the case will be mentioned after 10.40am today.

In an earlier judgement, Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill ordered the paper to hand over any information or documentation associated with McElgunn and her preparation of the article.

Lawyers for Walsh claim the journalist met Watters at a hotel in June to offer him money to agree to make the complaint to Gardaí. They also believe she accompanied him to the station, where he made the initial report.

The High Court judge also ruled that any documents referring to the booking of a hotel room for the man to be given to Walsh as well as texts, emails and telephone records between Watters and the crime journalist.

Justice O’Neill said the newspaper publishers now unreservedly accepted that the allegations against Walsh “were false and that he had been completely exonerated in this respect”.

Read: Sun newspaper ordered to give documents to Louis Walsh>

Related: Louis Walsh accuser loses appeal against 6 month sentence>