Daniel Johns to pocket $170k after Sunday Tele brothel story
News Corp is down almost half a million dollars over the bogus story it published last August, according to rival newspaper Sydney Morning Herald.
Private Sydney columnist, Andrew Hornery, reports that Johns received $170,000 from the Murdoch empire and “up to $300,000” to cover his legal costs.
The settlement and apology is the result of a definition case launched in the Victorian Supreme Court by Johns after the Sydney paper splashed a story about the rock star.
In the front-page exclusive, written by reporter Amy Harris, the tabloid claimed the musician was a regular at Sydney-based brothel The Kastle.
The article stated that Johns was “swaggering” out of the notorious club after a 12-hour session.
Harris’ unnamed sources also said the rocker would spend up to 18-hour days at the venue, which describes itself as a “BDSM dungeon”.
Johns denied all the allegations and released a statement the following month, saying “the article was simply untrue” and that Harris did not make contact before publishing.
The venue’s owner, who goes by the name Mistress Scarlett, also denied the story.
In today’s apology, published by the Tele, the paper agreed Harris’ reporting was bogus.
“The story was wrong,” said the paper. “Mr Johns was not leaving the brothel and The Sunday Telegraph accepts he has never been there at any other time.”
Johns’ real movements that day were much less scandalous, according to the retraction. He was actually visiting a friend who lived in the vicinity.
A writ filed to the Supreme Court of Victoria said the article portrayed Johns as a “sexual pervert”, and that his career was suffering as a result.
Johns has since posted the apology on social media with the caption: “Now back to the music.”