The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

I'd like to split this into two halves: one, the story, and then we'll come back to the picture. The story was from somebody who was at the event, who had been judged to be a reliable source. That was clearly not the case; in fact, a very unreliable source. It's a long time ago, but as I recall there were attempts to contact Miss Miller's public relations representative. I don't know if conversations happened but we published a very inaccurate, in fact plain wrong, story. Two days afterwards, we had a complaint from Miss Miller's then lawyers. It became apparent very quickly that the negotiations between lawyers were going to be going at a somewhat glacial pace, so in consultation with my legal department, I said, "I want to publish a unilateral apology to Miss Miller, so that we cannot be accused at a later date of not seeking to rectify what was a horrendous mistake."

We published that apology, which was within four days, I think, if I recall, of the article being published, and I think it was another two weeks, around that period approximately, when finally the lawyers agreed whatever it is that they had to agree and we paid the charity of Miss Miller's choice £25,000 in damages.

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