Jeremy Vine says Joey Barton’s payout ‘not final outcome’ of libel case

Jeremy Vine has said the apology and £75,000 Joey Barton has agreed to pay him in damages is “not the final outcome” in his defamation case against the former footballer.

On Tuesday Barton, 41, published an apology and agreed to pay the Radio 2 presenter, 59, the sum after Vine sued him for libel and harassment in the High Court over online posts in which he used a number of slurs and made unfounded allegations.

But in a later tweet, Vine said: “The news of Joey Barton’s apology and commitment to pay damages and costs is not the final outcome of this case.”

He explained that his legal team had offered Barton the chance to settle out of court for “£75k, plus my costs” and an apology.

But, Vine said: “He ignored that offer and posted more disgusting tweets about me, even publishing my home address to his followers.

“When I then took my case to the High Court, a judge ruled that TEN of the tweets I complained of were defamatory. Having lost, Barton has returned to the offer we made after tweet 5.

“There has therefore been a parallel action on tweets 6-10 and Barton will pay further damages for these. A number of other steps – including statements made in Court by way of apology – are still to be taken, and Barton has agreed to pay my legal costs of all of the claims.”

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Posting on X earlier on Tuesday, Barton said: “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.”

The former Manchester City player said he also published posts during the same period in which he referred to Vine as having “advocated forced vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, based upon a video clip of his TV programme”.

Barton added: “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.”

As well as the damages, Barton has agreed to pay Vine’s legal costs.

‘Calculated and sustained attack’

In court, lawyers for Vine said the abusive posts about the broadcaster were part of a “calculated and sustained attack” and Barton even used one particular phrase as part of a hashtag which ended up trending on the platform.

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William McCormick KC, representing Barton, said at an earlier hearing that the posts contained “vulgar abuse” but did not libel Vine, and represented “someone who is posting in the heat of the moment”.

But Mrs Justice Steyn ruled on Tuesday that 11 of the posts could defame Vine.

She said a reader would not have perceived the posts as “meaningless abuse ‘shouted’ in the heat of the moment, as there is nothing in the post that would give that impression”.

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