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Gascoigne's ex-wife had to put house on market to fight libel Sheryl Gascoigne arriving at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday

Sam Marsden in London

Published 24/11/2011 | 05:00

PAUL Gascoigne's ex-wife Sheryl had to put her house on the market to fund a libel action against a newspaper, the Leveson Inquiry heard yesterday.

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Calling for the system to be changed so that it would not be prohibitively expensive to sue for defamation, Mrs Gascoigne said she was told she had to find £200,000 (€233,000) to pursue her claim.

She said paparazzi photographers followed her car and forced her to crawl around on her hands and knees at home to avoid having her picture taken. But Mrs Gascoigne, who married the England midfielder in 1996 and divorced him two years later told the inquiry she accepted that some of the unwanted media attention "went with the territory".

Photographers

She put her house up for sale in the summer of last year to fund her legal costs in a claim against the 'Sunday Mirror', although the case was settled just before it was sold, the hearing was told.

"I was told that I needed to come up with £200,000 to go into court," she said. "So where was I going to find that amount of money? All my money is in my home.

"I think the 'Sunday Mirror' were hoping that a single parent with three children wouldn't perhaps have the backbone to go all the way and would be scared off."

Mrs Gascoigne was asked why the press portrayed her as a "money-grabber" who was "at the heart of Paul's problems".

"I don't know, you would have to ask them. I have no idea why they would say that," she replied.

"Maybe because I was a single mother with two children or maybe it was just because I was an easy target."

Irish Independent

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