The Supreme Court has overturned a defamation case brought by her sister and niece against singer Dana Rosemary Scalon.
The decision follows an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal that Ms Scalon’s sister, Susan Stein, and Stein’s daughter, Suzanne Gurrell, should have €150,000 as security to cover legal costs if they lose their case against the singer. .
The action stemmed from a television interview broadcast on TV3 in October 2011, when Scalone was asked about the sexual assault allegations against her brother, John Brown.
Ms. Gurrell alleged that she was abused between 1971 and 1981 by Mr. Brown. Ms. Scalone described the allegations as false and malicious.
Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell claimed that the comments made by Ms Scallon meant that they maliciously fabricated the allegations.
A jury at Harrow Crown Court in England acquitted Mr. Brown in July 2014 of charges of indecent assault on Ms. Jurel and another girl from 1971 to 1976. He and his sister have maintained at all times that he is innocent.
Ms. Stein and Gurrell also filed a lawsuit against TV3 as part of the same procedure. The television station apologized and paid damages before Brown’s trial began.
Skalone sought a cost guarantee against the two women, which means plaintiffs will have to file money in court to cover legal costs if they lose the case.
The Court of Appeal ruled in Ms Scalon’s favor in 2018, after appealing the Supreme Court’s refusal to issue such an order and ordering Ms Stein and Ms Gurel to pay €150,000 between them as security.
Ms. Scallon’s lawyers asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit today on the grounds that Ms Stein and Ms. Gurrell had not complied with a cost guarantee order, and that there was an excessive delay in pursuing the case.
In a sworn document, Ms. Scalone also alleged that the continuation of the business was frivolous or malicious. She said her brother was acquitted of the charges, which were based on the same allegations, which she described as «false and malicious lies», «false accusations» or «malicious and baseless rumours».
Judge Brian O’Mor, in his ruling, who struck down the procedure, said Ms Stein had emailed Scalon’s attorney saying neither she nor her daughter could continue the procedure because they were not in a position to pay the security costs.
Ms. Stein said they complied with the statements they made but were unable to continue the procedure for financial reasons.
Judge Omor said the women did not have the ability to meet the order. He said that these defamation proceedings would have weighed heavily on Ms. Scalon and there was a «desire» to end the proceedings, which would never go forward.
A request from Skalone’s attorneys for a contribution to its costs from TV3 will be heard at a later date.
In a statement, Scallon’s attorney, Kevin Winters of KRW LAW, welcomed the decision to write off the proceedings.
He said that Ms. Scalon had waited more than 10 years to get to this point and that they now intended to issue Supreme Court proceedings for malicious lying against Ms. Stein and Ms. Jurel.
He said that today’s verdict amounts to a complete acquittal of Ms. Scalone and her brother, who have suffered greatly as a result of the unfounded allegations.
Skalone added that she was pleased to dismiss the unsubstantiated allegations. She said that the case had no merit and today it was a source of great relief to her and her family.
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