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Boy George to pay $18,000 in libel damages

Feb. 25, 2004 at 2:19 PM

LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Boy George Wednesday agreed to pay $18,000 in damages to a man he punched at a London nightclub, then slandered in a British magazine.

Boy George, whose real name is George O'Dowd, admitted he hit Andrew Thompson at London's Sweet Suite without provocation and paid him "substantial compensation for injury and distressed caused," Thompson's attorney told a London court.

In a November 2002 interview with Britain's Boyz magazine, O'Dowd blamed Thompson for starting the fracas, saying he "deserved to be punched hard," the BBC reported.

"Understandably the claimant was surprised and shocked by the account that the defendant had given in Boyz magazine," attorney Hanna Basha told the court.

Thompson filed suit after O'Dowd refused to apologize and withdraw his allegations. As part of the settlement announced by Basha, O'Dowd apologized and agreed to pay Thompson the $18,000, plus his legal costs.

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