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Prince of Monaco accepts damages in UK libel suit

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 8:13 am

LONDON — Prince Albert of Monaco has accepted an apology and damages from Britain's Sunday Times newspaper over an article suggesting his wife Princess Charlene was reluctant to marry him, lawyers said Tuesday.

The prince had launched libel action over a July 2011 article that suggested Charlene agreed to a sham marriage in exchange for payment, and that Albert had confiscated her passport to prevent her from fleeing Monaco so she would stay and marry him for appearance's sake.

The article — headlined "The Full Filthy Monte" — also alleged that Albert had turned a blind eye to corrupt activity and granted residence permits to foreigners for fear of having alleged secrets about his love life exposed.

The prince's lawyer, Mark Thomson, argued that the article's publication, two days after the couple's wedding, had upset and embarrassed them.

Thomson said the newspaper had confirmed it would pay damages and legal fees to the couple.

The paper's lawyer, Rupert Earle, Tuesday apologized for the damage and distress caused in court.

"We accepted that these allegations were untrue and seriously defamatory," the newspaper's publisher, News International, said in a statement.