We may not have heard of Lisa Armstrong, but for her marriage to Ant McPartlin and, more recently, their decision to split. But because she was hitched to A Real Sleb who is paid Real And Serious Money To Be On Telly, our free and fearless press is indeed interested in her. It’s so interested that some of its hacks are more than happy to invent stories about her, in the belief that this will drive a few more sales and clicks.
I mean, the divorce settlement includes an eight-figure sum and a house valued in the retelling at around £5 million, so, er, that means they’ve got the excuse they need to go after her. So it was that the Super Soaraway Currant Bun declared earlier this week “Lisa Armstrong ‘plans to leave £5m home she shared with Ant McPartlin’ for a ‘fresh start’”. Note the use of quote marks, because they just made that up.
The first sentence of the article confirms this: “LISA Armstrong is reportedly set to move out of the home she once shared with former husband Ant McPartlin in hopes of a ‘fresh start.’” And who reported it? You get the picture. As so often with the Sun, the “reportedly” is down to those omnipresent “a source”, and “an insider”. Told you it was made up.
But then it all appeared to go wrong. Although a Google search shows that the Sun had published a story about Ms Armstrong titled “Lisa Armstrong plans £40K divorce party with rosé champagne, a Frank Sinatra tribute band and Tiffany party …”, going on to claim that “fresh from her £31 million divorce settlement, Lisa Armstrong, 43, is marking the start of her new chapter by celebrating with an extravagant divorce party”, the article has gone.
Not only that, but an equivalent article in the Mirror, probably lifted from the Sun’s effort, has also vanished. Add that to Ms Armstrong’s clear exasperation at the continuing invention of stories in a Tweet yesterday - “So there you go again [Sun Showbiz] writing rubbish lies about me that are completely untrue.....#stopit #harassment” - and we can conclude with some confidence that the Sun has been caused to take it down.
Not any more she doesn't
What, then, might have caused the taking down to take place? Would they have done it out of the kindness of their hearts? [Answer: No]. Would they have taken it down if she had asked them nicely? [Not as such]. Or would they have been leaned on by her lawyers on pain of being taken to court and landed with a humungous legal bill? [Could be].
Moreover, it seems that the name of Dan Wootton is being mentioned rather a lot in conjunction with this episode. And right now, that’s a very interesting name, especially for those following the claims of illegal information gathering being made on behalf of a significant number of claimants (including Prince Harry) at the High Court.
Well, well, look who's here. Again
It has been claimed in a Byline Investigates report that “Guy Patrick and Dan Wootton - who had worked at the News of the World at the time [of the alleged ING] - allegedly claimed for 20 top-up vouchers … It’s alleged that some Sun reporters topped-up ‘burner’ phones, so that they could hack phones without being traced”.
So if Lisa Armstrong finds any reference to “Late night phone calls”, or indeed any phone conversation, in a report emanating from Dan Wootton, she knows what to do.
And that’s call the cops as well as her lawyers. I’ll just leave that one there.
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