Saturday 3 December 2016

Peter Andre denies death threat 'lies' in court case

Published 10/10/2015 | 07:41

Peter Andre's death threat evidence was branded a fabrication by a High Court judge
Peter Andre's death threat evidence was branded a fabrication by a High Court judge

Strictly Come Dancing's Peter Andre has insisted he told the truth after a High Court judge accused him of a "complete fabrication" of death threats against him.

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Cable channel ITV2 must now pay reality show producer Neville Hendricks "substantial damages" in a bitter contract dispute involving the singer and reality TV star.

Mr Justice Flaux awarded the damages, expected to run into millions of pounds, to "Mr H TV Ltd" - a company owned by Mr Hendricks which produced a series of reality television programmes featuring Andre.

The judge, sitting in London, was scathing about claims made by Andre that he felt physically threatened after his close friend and manager Claire Powell allegedly received death threats from Mr Hendricks at the stormy end of their relationship, which involved "scurrilous and vitriolic" tweets on social media.

He described Andre, 42, as "an extremely unsatisfactory witness". On some issues his evidence was "not truthful" and his death threat allegations were "a complete fabrication", he ruled.

But Andre told the Daily Mirror: "I am extremely disappointed that Mr Justice Flaux didn't accept some of my evidence.

"But all I can say is that I was telling the truth and would never have misled the court in this important matter."

The legal battle was fought over an ITV2 production agreement dated December 9 2010 for shows involving both Andre and singer Kerry Katona, a former member of Atomic Kitten.

The manager of both Peter Andre and Kerry Katona at that time was Ms Powell, whose company CAN Associates worked in close association with Mr Hendricks, said the judge.

As well as being business partners, Mr Hendricks and Ms Powell had an "on and off" relationship for some years. They had a son together who was six in 2011 when, in May that year, their relations "deteriorated considerably".

By the beginning of June 2011, it was clear that Ms Powell was looking for an opportunity to replace Mr Hendricks as the production company for the Peter Andre programmes and told ITV2 Andre "had issues" with Hendricks.

Efforts to resolve the row failed and Mr Andre's solicitors wrote a letter to Mr H TV's solicitors saying Mr Andre "wanted no further dealings whatsoever" with Mr Hendricks or his company.

The judge said it was that letter which "almost certainly" led ITV2 to terminating the production agreement, alleging there had been a breach of ITV's general terms and conditions.

Of the alleged death threats, t he judge said: "Whilst many of the tweets sent by Mr Hendricks were offensive and expressed in foul language, I reject Mr Andre's suggestion that they caused him to fear for himself and his family."

Mr Hendricks' Mr H TV Limited sued ITV2, claimed damages consisting of lost profits estimated at £6m-£7m and £549,060 under an outstanding invoice after the cable channel called a halt to him producing its reality shows in August 2011.

The cable channel counterclaimed that he was in "repudiatory breach" of production agreement.

Mr Justice Flaux rejected the counterclaim and ruled that it was ITV2, not Mr HTV, that was in breach and responsible for "wrongfully terminating" the agreement and therefore "liable for substantial damages".

Press Association

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