Noel Clarke To Seek $12m In Defamation Case Against The Guardian

Actor Noel Clarke is looking for damages of around $12m (£10m) in his defamation suit against The Guardian newspaper.

Clarke has filed the suit in response to eight articles published in The Guardian in which he was accused of various incidents of misconduct by 20 women between 2004 and 2019.

The actor, producer, and director, best known for work such as Kidulthood and its two follow-up movies, has denied all of the allegations and said the articles have had a “catastrophic” effect on his career.

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The $12m figure was obtained by the BBC, which said it had seen documents lodged at London’s High Court as part of the defamation claim. If Clarke wins the case, a judge will decide what damages he is entitled to.

Alongside claiming general damages for reputational harm, Clarke is looking for damages that cover specific financial losses. Clarke’s claim says The Guardian’s articles had a “devastating” impact on his finances, according to the BBC, with the actor claiming “every existing or upcoming contract” he had was canceled following The Guardian’s reports.

Clarke’s claim says he has “not had one single work contract” since the first Guardian article about him was published in April 2021. Clarke is claiming aggravated damages for what his lawyers describe as the “relentless, targeted, vicious and persistent nature of the wholly unjustified defamatory campaign” mounted against him by the Guardian.

In its reporting, the BBC outlines the specific financial losses highlighted in Clarke’s claim:

Sky TV show Bulletproof, series 4
– Fee for acting in 10 episodes – £585,000
– Fee for writing two episodes – £90,000
– Fee for directing two episodes – £90,000
– Anticipated royalties – £250,000 (estimated figure)
ITV TV show Viewpoint, series 2
– Fee – £270,000
– Anticipated royalties – £200,000 (estimated figure)
Channel 5 TV show Highwater
– Producer bonus – £60,000
– BBC TV show Crongton
– Producer bonus – £60,000
StudioCanal pic Something in the Water
– Producer bonus – £40,000
– Former production company Unstoppable
– Minimum salary over 10 years – £1.25m
– Projected value of shares — £7 million –
Legal fees

Next, a high court judge will oversee the case and determine whether the articles published by The Guardian are defamatory. The first hearing had been set for tomorrow. However, Clarke is in the process of instructing new solicitors, so the hearing has been rescheduled for later this year.

Clarke previously dropped a simultaneous defamation suit against BAFTA. BAFTA previously suspended his membership after the allegations and rescinded the Outstanding Achievement Award it handed him just a week prior to The Guardian article.

Deadline has reached out to Clarke for comment.

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