EVERTON manager David Moyes accepted “substantial” undisclosed libel damages yesterday over a “wholly untrue” allegation in Wayne Rooney’s autobiography that he leaked details of a confidential conversation with the striker.
Moyes, who sued Rooney, his co-author Hunter Davies and HarperCollins, the publishers of Wayne Rooney — My Story So Far, also received a public apology at a hearing at the High Court in London.
Solicitor Edward Parladorio, for Moyes, told Mr Justice Eady that his client, manager of Everton since February 2002, was accused of “a serious breach of trust towards a young player under his management”.
He said Moyes was accused of leaking the contents of a confidential conversation, during which Rooney stated his intention to leave Everton. After the brief hearing, Moyes said: “I am glad that these issues have now been resolved and that my name has been fully cleared in this matter.”
During the hearing Parladorio told the judge there was “no breach of confidence or betrayal of trust by Mr Moyes”.
“Happily, Mr Rooney, Mr Davies and HarperCollins Publishing Limited appear here today by their solicitor to acknowledge that they were mistaken and publicly withdraw the allegation and apologise,” he said.
“The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Moyes a substantial sum in damages and his legal costs.”
Sarah Toolan, solicitor for the defendants, told the judge: “All defendants accept that the allegation to which my friend has referred was untrue and sincerely apologise to Mr Moyes for the distress and embarrassment caused.”
A spokesman for Wayne Rooney revealed afterwards that “all costs and damages in this case are being met by the publishers”. It is understood to have been the first time that a Premier League manager has sued one of his former players for libel.
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