Society

Daily Mail to Pay $200K to Psychic Sally Morgan in Libel Suit

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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The Daily Mail settled with British celebrity psychic, Sally Morgan, after she filed suit over an articled published in 2011 in which the newspaper alleged she wore an earpiece during a theater performance in Dublin.

"The article thereby suggested that Mrs. Morgan had deliberately and dishonestly perpetrated a scam on her audience in Dublin,” the suit stated.

Morgan claimed the article suggested she was a “charlatan” who “perpetrated a scam.” A statement on Morgan’s website says The Daily Mail agreed to pay $193,150.

Despite denial that she used an earpiece, the Daily Mail published an article by magician and former psychic Paul Zenon on Sept. 22, 2011. Titled “What a Load of Crystal Balls!” Zenon explained how any audience can be the object of trickery.

In October 2011, the Daily Mail also published an article titled “Psychic Sally seen on her OWN video removing ‘hidden earpiece’ as she leaves stage.” Publishing still images from a YouTube video, the Daily Mail wrote, “She can be seen taking wires out of both her ears. The device in her right ear is a microphone but a second black earpiece is also taken out of her left ear.”

The article cites unidentified members of the audience from her Dublin performance who claimed they could hear a man’s voice feeding information to Sally.

“I bought [sic] this libel action against The Daily Mail not to be a spokesperson for mediums and mediumship, nor for financial gain, but for the simple reason of principle," Morgan wrote on her website. "I have done nothing wrong and deserve to have that acknowledged. I have never cheated." 

She added: “There will always be skeptics who attack my work and I understand and accept that. However, to libel me and falsely accuse me of a con trick does not constitute rational commentary or debate. I hope now this settlement and apology will repair the damage that has been done.”

According to The Drum, Morgan said her first psychic experience occurred when she was just 9 years old.

In 2011, science author Simon Singh invited Morgan to take a test to prove her abilities.

The test would have required Morgan view pictures of at least 10 dead women and then match each photograph to a list of their first names.

She turned down the challenge, which was set to coincide with Halloween. Her attorneys at Graham Atkins asked that Singh, who is the author of many books on mathematics and science, never contact her or her office ever again.

"You well know that we all have far more important things to do than take part in this or any other 'test' at this point," they told him in an email. "She will not attend at Liverpool or at any other time.”

Sources: BBC News, The Drum