Steps star Ian Watkins wins apology

Published Thursday, 19 December 2013
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Former Steps star Ian 'H' Watkins has received a public apology at the High Court over the mistaken use of his photograph in relation to the case of Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins.

Steps star Ian Watkins wins apology
Former Steps singer Ian 'H' Watkins. (© Getty)

The singer was subjected to online abuse after celebrity news website E! Online used his image when reporting the guilty pleas to charges of serious sexual offences of the Lostprophets' Ian Watkins

On Thursday a judge heard how Watkins had already been "receiving abuse as a result of people confusing the two Ian Watkins" before the error over the photograph was made.

His solicitor John Reid told the judge that the defendant, E! Entertainment Television, "reported the guilty plea of Ian Watkins of the Lostprophets in an article on E! Online".

Adding: "However, the defendant mistakenly included a photograph of the claimant, Ian 'H' Watkins of Steps, instead of Ian Watkins of the Lostprophets."

He said: "The error quickly came to the attention of the defendant, which promptly replaced the photograph with the correct one."

Mr Reid told the judge that the defendant also promptly added an editor's note to the article, stating: "This story was originally published with an image of Ian "H" Watkins of the band Steps rather than Ian Watkins of the Lostprophets. E! Online deeply regrets this error."

He said the defendant "also promptly emailed and telephoned the claimant's management to apologise to the claimant".

It was noted in court that both men not only have the same name but are of similar age and both originally come from Wales.

Solicitor Timothy Pinto told the judge that, on behalf of the defendant, he confirmed everything said by Mr Reid "and apologises for the distress and damage caused by the publication of the photograph".

In a statement on his Facebook page, Watkins said: "As many of you will know, on 27 November E! Online mistakenly published a photograph of me alongside an article reporting the case of the convicted paedophile, Ian Watkins, of the band Lostprophets.

"In Court this morning E! have publically apologised to me and a statement has been read in court to make the position clear.

"This was not something that I did lightly but it was important to me that a public statement was made so that there is no confusion going forward.

"I am really pleased that it has been resolved so quickly so that my family and I can try and move on from what has been an extremely distressing time.

"Thanks once again to those who have supported me."

On Wedesday, former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins was sentenced to a 35-year jail term at Cardiff Crown Court for a string of child sex offences.

© UTV News
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