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Equity expels member over defamation case

The Gillettes were at the centre of a defamation case, which concluded in 2012.
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Equity has expelled a member of the union for the first time in living memory, over a defamation case brought about more than six years ago.

The union has expelled Craig Joseph, a member of Motown tribute band the Gillettes, after he lied in court during a case in which he was being supported by Equity, resulting in a costs liability for the union of more than £600,000.

In 2008, Equity supported legal proceedings brought by the Gillettes against booking agent Jason Spiller, who had posted a libelous statement about the band on his agency’s website.

Despite winning the case, which concluded in 2012, the Gillettes were awarded damages of only 1p after it emerged that Joseph had lied in his evidence and was found to be “deliberately pursuing a false claim for special damages”.

Members of the act were also ordered to pay 75% of the defendant’s costs, which was later settled at £639,045, a sum Equity was required to meet.

The union decided to expel Joseph at its February council meeting with immediate effect, a move thought to be unprecedented.

Equity declined to comment.

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