Ghanaian Media Warned Over Essien
Media analysts in the UK have warned Ghanaian newspapers that they could face huge fines if they reproduce false stories published by English newspapers on star players like Michael Essien.
This comes in the wake of Essien’s winning of a libel claim against the People newspaper.
Libel proceedings were issued against MGN Limited, the publisher of the People newspaper, following the publication of two articles.
The first article, published on May 25 2008, carried the headline “Chelsea Cheat Michael Essien: I’ll Stand by my Love Child”.
This was followed by another article on May 3 2009 under the headline “Sex Cheat Star Essien Gets Boot”.
Several papers in Ghana culled the stories for their publications and have been warned that they also could be held under similar charges if they published unsubstantiated stories from abroad.
The articles claimed that Essien had cheated on his long term partner by having numerous affairs with other women and fathered a child behind his partner’s back.
As a result, his partner had called off their wedding.
These allegations were found to be false and grossly defamatory towards Essien.
The People newspaper has accepted that these allegations are untrue, and has paid Essien substantial damages as well as agreeing to pay his legal costs.
In its apology, the People said: “On May 25 2008 and May 3 2009 we reported that Michael Essien had cheated on his long term girlfriend Nadia Buari by having numerous affairs behind her back including one in which he fathered a child.
“We apologise to Mr. Essien for any distress or embarrassment caused.”
A representative of Schillings, a law firm that represented Michael Essien said: “There has been a lot of inaccurate reporting concerning Michael and he was not prepared to allow this misreporting to continue”.