Marie Fredriksson demands 500,000 kronor from Expressen
STOCKHOLM (UPDATED) - Marie Fredriksson is demanding half a million kronor in damages, and a public apology from the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen.
Expressen's speculations about her getting another tumor are demeaning and offensive, Marie feels.
This January, Expressen wrote that "she is fighting another lump that is believed to be another tumor" and that the doctors suspected that this [tumor] was only one of several additional tumors.
Leif Silbersky, a well-known celebrity laywer who is representing Marie, writes in a letter to Otto Sjöberg, publisher of Expressen, that she has reacted with anger and astonishment to the articles. According to Silbersky, the articles are a mixture of fact, speculation and pure lies which Marie regards as demeaning and repulsive.
Silbersky also states in his letter that the speculations have "no root in reality".
Marie intends to sue Expressen, but if she gets a public apology on the front page and on the news bills, the newspaper can avoid a trial. She wants 500,000 kronor ($60,000) in damages, plus legal fees.
The half million will go, in full, to Cancerfonden (The Cancer Foundation), according to Sjöberg's letter.
In reacting to the demands (made public in such other newspapers as Aftonbladet), Sjöberg says he is is deeply sorry that Marie has been offended by Expressen's articles about her illness. "I'm truly sorry for it. It has not been our intention," Sjöberg says to "Journalisten", the union website for journalists.
Whether Expressen will agree to these demands or not, Sjöberg declines to say. "These are formal legal demands that are handled by our ombudsman Peter Danowsky."
Otto Sjöberg stresses that Expressen only wrote about Marie's illness after she had gone public with it herself. "If she then feels that we have gotten too close and if she feels violated and repulsed, then I'm truly sorry. It was never our intention.
According to Journalisten, Marie's demands are very uncommon for the Swedish press - both an apology and a large amount of money… to not go to court.
Technical errors may occur.
February 18th, 2003
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