According to a report in the U.K.’s The Sun, Elton John has just lost a four-month legal battle attempting to keep a lid on details of a sexual harassment case brought against him by a former bodyguard, which the rocker reportedly settled for an undisclosed sum.
As The Sun reports, the 69-year-old rock icon “is believed to have paid the man a six-figure sum in an out-of- court deal when his claims of sexual harassment against the star were withdrawn.”
The four months’ worth of legal proceedings to attempt to keep details of the case under wraps, reports The Sun, cost Sir Elton an additional six-figure sum, with The Sun ultimately prevailing as a judge agreed with the newspaper’s position that “granting Sir Elton anonymity contradicted British open justice.”
“This case raised a fundamental issue of a free press being able to report legal cases against celebrities with deep pockets and armies of expensive lawyers who want to keep even the fact of such litigation against them from the public,” said a spokesperson for The Sun.
Furthermore, the spokesperson added that the newspaper “does not suggest the claims, which we accept were denied by Sir Elton and which were subsequently withdrawn, are true. We simply wanted to report the fact the case had been settled… Celebrities need to know we will fight for the right to report cases lodged at courts and tribunals.”
Sir Elton was accused by former bodyguard Jeffrey Wenninger, who claimed the “Rocket Man” singer once put his hands down the bodyguard’s pants, and also touched his butt and said, “Get your todger out.” Wenninger also accuses the star of twisting his nipples and demanding he “say hello to Uncle Elton.”
Sir Elton has vociferously denied the claims before withdrawing them upon the case being settled; the settlement does not indicate an admission of guilt, and often indicates that a celebrity would prefer to make the embarrassing case disappear quickly instead of dragging for years through the courts.
Elton John’s lawyer has responded with the following statement: “These employment proceedings were fully withdrawn by the ex-employee who left the employment of Sir Elton John’s company in June 2015. The claims were always strongly denied and we continue to deny them. Sir Elton John is pleased that the former employee withdrew the claims in full and that the issue was settled in February this year.”