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Elton John wins libel damages

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Elton John will donate the proceeds to his AIDS foundation.

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Elton John
London

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Singer Elton John accepted libel damages of 100,000 pounds ($188,000) from a newspaper on Wednesday over claims about his behavior at his annual charity ball.

In a brief hearing at London's High Court, the singer's solicitor Nigel Tait told the judge claims made in the Daily Mail newspaper in June 2005 had "caused Sir Elton considerable embarrassment and distress."

"The articles falsely alleged that Sir Elton had issued a bizarre and absurd edict to guests ... ordering them not to approach him ... thereby acting like old-fashioned royalty or some tinpot dictator and exhibiting self-important, arrogant and rude behavior bordering on paranoia," Tait said.

"In fact, not only was no such edict issued at all, Sir Elton greets each guest as they arrive and is well known for chatting to as many people as possible who attend the ball."

He said the Daily Mail had published a prompt apology, and that its owners, Associated Newspapers Ltd, had agreed to pay "substantial" damages -- revealed in a written statement to be 100,000 pounds -- which the singer would donate to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

It was the second time the singer had won damages from a newspaper over the same allegation. In February, he accepted an undisclosed sum from the Sunday Times.

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