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Golding moving ahead with defamation suit against Heroy Clarke

Published:Thursday | June 13, 2024 | 8:15 AM
Mark Golding (left) and Heroy Clarke. - File photos

Opposition Leader Mark Golding says he has instructed his lawyers to proceed with filing a lawsuit against Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Heroy Clarke, for comments he reportedly made about Golding's relationship with his wife, Sandra.

The comments are said to have been made in a WhatsApp group which had approximately 300 members.

In a June 7 letter to Clarke, Golding's attorneys from the law firm Hart Muirhead Fatta made several demands they wanted met by Monday.

 

Clarke was told to confirm in writing that he undertakes not to publish or cause to be published any defamatory statement, express or implied, in any way concerning Golding.

Further, he was told to agree to provide a full and unreserved written apology to Golding in a newspaper of islandwide circulation in Jamaica, in form and substance and with prominence acceptable to the People's National Party president.

Clarke, the member of parliament for St James Central, was also told to agree to enter into discussions with Golding's attorneys as to the terms of a settlement of the claim against him for damages for defamation.

The lawyers had said if Clarke failed to meet the demands "we hold instructions to bring proceedings against you in court for appropriate remedies, including damages, injunctive relief, and costs.”

The Gleaner has not seen a public retraction from Clarke.

Efforts by The Gleaner to get a comment from Clarke were unsuccessful.

In a post on social media site X on Thursday, Golding said "My lawyers have been instructed to proceed with filing suit against Heroy Clarke for defamation. Justice will be done."

According to Golding's attorneys, the comments were reportedly made by Clarke on June 6.

The lawyers said the comments “comprised utterly false statements as to the age of Golding's wife and the origin of their relationship”.

“Your statements have disparaged Mr Golding in his character and reputation as leader of the Opposition, a former minister in the Government of Jamaica, an attorney-at-law, investment banker, and as a businessman, and have severely injured and damaged him in his credit and business, and have brought him into public scandal, odium, and contempt, thereby causing considerable distress and embarrassment to him,” the letter said.

It said the comments have also caused reputational damage to Golding.

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