Friday, March 6, 2009

More harm than good

Madeleine: Murat speaks out against tabloid fairytales

Thursday, 05 Mar 2009 20:31

Robert Murat has delivered a scathing attack on the journalists who defamed him over the abduction of Madeleine McCann, saying he felt "like a fox being pursued by a pack of hounds".

Mr Murat won undisclosed libel damages for defamatory claims made by 11 national newspapers about Madeleine, whose disappearance and suspected abduction in a Portuguese holiday resort dominated headlines over the summer of 2007.

Tonight, addressing an audience of students at Cambridge University's Union Society, Mr Murat described in detail for the first time the "horror story" of being pursued by journalists.

During his speech Mr Murat explained how he blamed a specific unnamed journalist, who was "so anxious, it appeared, to break a story that she literally created her own".

"To my personal cost, I now know what the maxim 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story' really means," he said.

"Over a period of many months, day after day, a torrent of outlandish, untrue, and deeply hurtful allegations about me were systematically splashed across the pages of British newspapers.

"I was one day said to be a sexual predator, another day a kidnapper; the tabloids reported apparently that I had been outside the McCann flat on the night Madeleine went missing, with her DNA apparently found in my home.

"They even came up with a story that I had a secret chamber under the floor of the house. Fairytales. Every single one of them, as the police themselves concluded."

Mr Murat argued against the motion that 'tabloids do more harm than good', describing them as a "travesty" and a "force for harm".

"My own life will be scarred for ever by the lies they printed," he added.

Media litigation lawyer Louis Charalambous, Mr Murat's lawyer of Simon, Muirhead and Burton, said his former client had had his "reputation destroyed" by the press.

He said: "Although Mr Murat's good name has now been rightfully restored and he and his family have begun rebuilding their life, the intolerable distress and stress they experienced as a result of such malicious reporting to benefit ad revenues and market share, is a shameful episode in the history of the British press."

Other speakers at the Union debate included Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, former Endemol chairman Peter Bazalgette and Guardian assistant editor Michael White.

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from her parents Kate and Gerry McCann's holiday villa in Praia da Luz.

Mr and Mrs McCann, as well as Mr Murat, were named as arguidos - official suspects - by Portuguese police, who dropped the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance last year.

A team of private investigators hired by Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, is still trying to locate Madeleine.$1275008.htm


worried said...


Cláudia said...

Indeed, Worried. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Rosies Mole said...

I see Gina believes their story about her post.Oh well.

Sorry to the Opal person whose details were published.Bums throwing around unfounded accusations again.Whats new?

The J4 blog is a disgusting place.All 20 people on the forum got a PM from Rosie saying to keep the public part of the Forum insultfree.You can see there havent been any public posts for a while.The blog has taken over that side of their so-called important work.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Rosies Mole.
I have to disagree. Gina does not believe them, Gina has no other alternative. If she stopped posting there, where would she post? I told her countless times that she isn't welcome here. In fact, when she though she could bother me with her crap (there are 14 unpublished posts from her in this blog), I begged her to go away. If she stopped posting in the House of Filth she would have to go back to her normal life. Do you think that's an option?
Insultfree? PMSL! That's a great one!

Cláudia said...

Gina, just so you know. I just had a chance to check my email and I had your last posts times three, sent by three different people. :-) See how easy? I see you keep visiting. Today at 8:53 and 9:49. And woman, save the link so you don't have to go Google proud of the PJ everytime. :-) Nice to see that instead of insulting and threatening Dylan (I have the posts and the snapshots) you are now 'protecting' her! PMSL!
Back to my endless translation which is almost as boring as you: statistical data. Yikes!

Cláudia said...

P.S: AT 00:00 too. It was already today. :-)

Zodiac said...

"During his speech Mr Murat explained how he blamed a specific unnamed journalist, who was "so anxious, it appeared, to break a story that she literally created her own".

Hmm I think I even know who she is!

Cláudia said...

Zodiac, I also think I might have an idea who she is! ;-)

J J said...

Hello Claudia

Do you think the journalist who 'broke the story' about Robert Murat, did it because there had just been a reward of £2,000,000 plus announced?

Cláudia said...

Hi, JJ.
Well, it's a possibility. Or maybe the journalist wanted 15 minutes of fame. Or the journalist is just not very bright. But money has a lot of strength, of course.

nancy said...

Hi Claudia, Zodiac, Dylan and JJ -

Nice to read your posts.

I'm glad that Murat got to speak at Cambridge! One in the eye for the McCann's mouthpiece! His reception didn't go half as well - in fact hardly anyone turned up!

At least TB and his assistant managed to get some leaflets delivered to the students so a few more people may start to believe what a scam the tapas 9 pulled! And I believe CM was left very uncomfortable after TB's assistant managed to get a few well chosen words to him.

He didn't bother hanging around for drinks, so I think he realised just how unpopular he is!

I'm sure I'm wrong, but I still wish that I didn't have a niggling worry about Murat. I just can't get my head round why GM answered 'no comment' when asked if he knew him. Unless that was a way to make people suspect Murat was somehow involved.

Will we ever know? Almost two years since Maddie disappeared and we are still none the wiser as to what happened to her, except that she was seriously neglected, along with her brothers, and the other tapas children.

Wicked barstewards - all of them!

Lunch now.


Cláudia said...

Hi, Nancy!
So am I. Clarence Mitchell was shown how insignifican he is. I bet his ego was a bit bruised that night. And of course, besides the audience he still had to deal with TB and company giving him a tough time. I would have loved to have been there. :-)
Maybe he went for drinks elsewhere. :-)
I don't exclude that possibility, although I'm pretty sure Murat had nothing to do with it. And the strongest reason is that from the people he meets everyday and the he has known for years not one said he was there that night. As for Gerry's answer, maybe that was his intention. I read somewhere Murat denying ever meeting him before.
I hope one day we will know. For Madeline's sake.
Have a nice day, Nancy!