A public relations expert who helped in
the search for Madeleine McCann accepted
a donation to charity today over a claim
that she overcharged the fund set up to
find the missing child.
Justine McGuinness brought libel
proceedings in London's High Court over
an October 2007 article in The People.
solicitor, Amber Melville-Brown, told Mr
Justice Eady that McGuinness was the
communications strategist for the Find
Madeleine Fund from June to September
newspaper story alleged that she had
charged the fund £20,000 in excess of
her agreed fee and that, following a
discussion with Gerry McCann in the
summer of 2007, she was forced to part
company with the fund.
Melville-Brown said: "In fact, Ms
McGuinness did not overcharge the fund
and indeed bore many of the necessary
expenses herself. Neither was she forced
initially agreed with the fund, she left
in September 2007 to meet other
McGuinness's commitments to providing
support and assistance to the McCanns
and the fund, and in order that her hard
work and professional integrity should
not be questioned, she felt she had no
option but to bring proceedings to
ensure that the true position was
recognised and that the false
allegations were not republished."
Melville-Brown said MGN Limited had
accepted that the allegations were
incorrect and apologised.
agreed to make a donation to an
undisclosed charity of Ms McGuinness's
solicitor, Holly Mason, apologised for
the distress and embarrassment caused.