WORLD : Royal Libel Damages Awarded

From Times Wire Services

A Toronto public relations consultant won substantial undisclosed libel damages today over a London newspaper report on rumors of a romance between her and Mark Phillips, the estranged husband of Britain’s Priness Anne.

New Zealand-born Kathy Birks sued over an article in the tabloid Today last September, headlined “Mark’s falling under the spell of seductive Kathy.”

The report alleged she had become Phillips’ constant companion on his business trips across the Atlantic.


Birks’ lawyer, Keith Schilling, told the High Court in London that the article appeared after the announcement last August that Phillips and Princess Anne were to live apart.

Schilling said Birks, who lives in Toronto, was “concerned that the article suggested she had seduced Capt. Phillips and readers might have concluded that she was to blame, wholly or in part, for the breakdown of his marriage.”

Today said any such suggestion would be untrue and agreed to pay Birks damages and her legal costs.