Monday, March 24, 2008

David Moyes Gets Over £ 500,000 from David Hirshey's Employer

Big, exciting legal news from the U.K. (no, not really that exciting). HarperCollins, employer of our beloved Deadspin closer, settled a libel claim brought by David Moyes. The suit involved statements that Wayne Rooney a ghostwriter wrote about Rooney's transfer from Everton in the autobiography My Story So Far. (By the way, footballer autobiographies might be the worst genre of non-fiction ever created.)

As the Guardian explains:

In the book, published in the aftermath of the last World Cup, Rooney described the strained relationship with his former manager, and gave his account of the events leading up to his £ 27million transfer to United in August 2004. He claimed he had told Moyes he wanted to leave Everton after it emerged he had visited prostitutes, and that Moyes passed details of the conversation to the Liverpool Echo. Moyes reacted furiously to the allegations and instructed his lawyers to sue.

A trial was set to begin next month, smack dab in the middle of Manchester United's season. With the prospect of the Bulldog One having to travel to attend court Kobe Bryant-style, Rooney's publisher did the only noble thing it could: falling on its sword.

British libel law is a bit of a mess, as witnessed by the famous McLibel case, but it's hard to say that free speech was denied here. Moyes gets a public apology ("Sorry I said that you drove me out of the club when in fact I really just wanted a shit pile of money from Man U.") The settlement also includes around £ 100,000 plus Moyes' legal fees, which likely pushes the total bill over £ 500,000.

Unfortunately, Rooney's money is very safe. Instead, HarperCollins will be picking up the bill. I know that Hirshey is on the other side of the pond, and that this sum is a drop in the bucket for Mr. Rupert Murdoch's vast riches, but I'd like to think that this sum somehow comes out of Hirshey's lunch budget -- no more liquid lunches this month until David Moyes' legal bill has been paid off.


Keith said...

The Kinsale is planning to launch a new drink for when Hirshey can go back on the H-C tab: The Moyes-tini (Equal Parts Pernod and Rafa Benitez's bitter, bitter tears).

JT said...

That drink sounds delicious! I hear that they're gonna serve it from the Carling Cup that Spurs won.