Joey Barton to pay Jeremy Vine £75,000 over defamatory posts

Joey Barton, manager of Bristol Rovers looking dejected during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Derby County and Bristol Rovers at Pride Park, Derby on Saturday 29th October 2022.
[Getty Images]

Joey Barton has apologised to Jeremy Vine and agreed to pay him £75,000 in damages for making defamatory comments on social media.

A High Court judge ruled last month that comments former footballer Mr Barton made about BBC presenter Mr Vine on X were defamatory.

Mr Barton said in a statement on Tuesday that he apologised “for the distress" suffered by Mr Vine, who sued him for libel and harassment over 14 online posts.

Mr Vine said the £75,000 in damages "is not the final outcome" of the case.

In the statement shared on X, Mr Barton wrote: “Between 8 and 12 January 2024 I published 11 posts which accused Jeremy Vine of having a sexual interest in children, and created a hashtag which made the same allegations, which were viewed millions of times.

“I recognise that this is a very serious allegation. It is untrue. I do not believe that Mr Vine has a sexual interest in children, and I wish to set the record straight.

“I also published posts during the same period in which I referred to Mr Vine having advocated forced vaccination during the Covid 19 pandemic, based upon a video clip of his TV programme.

“I accept that he did not advocate this policy and that the video clip has been edited to give a misleading impression of what he was in fact saying.

“I then taunted and abused Mr Vine for bringing a legal complaint against me. I have agreed not to make the same allegations again about Mr Vine and I apologise to him for the distress he has suffered.

“To resolve his claims against me in defamation and harassment, I have agreed to pay Mr Vine £75,000 in damages and his legal costs.”

Mr Vine's legal team, in a statement issued on his behalf, said Mr Barton paying £75,000 in damages and also Mr Vine's legal costs is related to the repeated false allegation the presenter had a sexual interest in children.

It added Mr Barton is to be required to pay Mr Vine £35,000 and additional legal costs in relation to Mr Barton's conduct after the presenter started legal proceedings - making statements in a crowdfunding page he has admitted were false.

Warning: this article contains strong language

Mr Barton, the 41-year-old former Premier League footballer turned manager, had called Mr Vine, 59, a "bike nonce" and "pedo defender".

In a High Court ruling last month, Mrs Justice Steyn ruled that 11 posts could defame Mr Vine, who presents his own show on Radio 2.

Mr Vine's barrister, Gervase de Wilde, told the court earlier this month that the abuse began after Mr Vine responded to a post in which Mr Barton compared football pundits Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward to serial killers Fred and Rose West.

That prompted the broadcaster to ask whether Mr Barton, who was manager of Bristol Rovers until October last year, had a brain injury.

Mr Barton then began a series of posts criticising women involved in football and football punditry.

Then at the beginning of this year, he published several posts about Mr Vine to his 2.8 million followers on X.

Mr de Wilde described the former footballer's actions as a "calculated and sustained attack on Mr Vine".

Mr Barton's barrister, William McCormick KC, argued the posts contained "vulgar abuse" but did not libel Mr Vine.

He added that the posts represented someone "posting in the heat of the moment" and some were an "obvious attempt at humorous abuse".