Christopher Jefferies, 66, said he was ‘shamelessly vilified’ by the Sun and others and had to change his appearance and live ‘a hole and corner’ existence after police arrested him on suspicion of the murder of Joanne Yeates.
The Sun later paid him substantial libel damages along with the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record, Daily Mail, Daily Star, The Scotsman and Daily Express.
He said his normal life was suspended as he moved from one safe-house to another until police stopped proceedings against him in March this year, adding: ‘The Press set about what can only be described as a witch-hunt.
‘The tabloid Press decided that I was guilty of Miss Yeates’s murder and seemed determined to persuade the public of my guilt.
‘They embarked on a frenzied campaign to blacken my character by publishing a series of very serious allegations about me which were completely untrue, allegations which were a mixture of smear, innuendo and complete fiction.’
Anne Diamond, the former TV-am presenter, 28.11.11.,claimed The Sun had infiltrated the hospital where she was giving birth by impersonating a doctor. She also said the paper had published a front-page picture of her and her then husband carrying the coffin of their baby son Sebastian at his funeral in 1991, after his cot death, despite strongly asking the editor not to.
Hugh Grant, actor, 21.11.11, referring to article in The Sun: 'The classic tabloid technique to cover a really egregious breach of someone's privacy is to wrap it up in a nice story. So if they photograph someone's baby, they'll say, "Oh, what a pretty baby" to try and stop the parents suing them for breach of privacy. This is exactly the same. This is an article which says not only that I went to hospital for but what I went for. It's my medical record. It's the exact complaint, that I was dizzy and short of breath, which to me is a gross intrusion in my privacy and they have deliberately dressed that up as a flattering article
about how undiva-ish I was to try and get away with that...It wasn't just the Sun who ran that piece. The Express ran a piece similar, as I recall, and as I say in my statement, by that stage of my life - this was only this year, wasn't it? I think it was this year -I was weary and, to a certain degree, wary of endless lawsuits against tabloids. They take a long time, there's a lot of stress.
So I tried to shortcircuit it by offering them: "Look, there'll be no lawsuit if you just each pay £5,000 to a charity which I support called Healthtalkonline", and seeing as they had both talked about my health online, I thought that was elegant.
The Express flatly refused to pay a penny, and after much protesting, the Sun gave the charity £1,500.
But for them to know my medical -- the details of why I went there, it must have been someone with access to the computer where you register. I hope and I'm sure it was none of the medical staff, who I have to say were fantastic in that hospital, as they always are, but I suspect that it was the age-old system of someone at the hospital being on a retainer from either a tabloid 2 newspaper or perhaps a picture agency.
You know: "If anyone famous comes in, tell us and here's 50 quid or 500 quid", or whatever it is I am quite sure -- well, my opinion is that that was the source, as it had been back in June 1996, and as it was again recently in the case of my baby.