Koo Stark wins damages over website article suggesting she was 'porn actress'

Koo Stark, former girlfriend of Prince Andrew, who has been given "substantial" damages after suing the owner of a website which suggested she was a "porn actress".
Koo Stark, former girlfriend of Prince Andrew, who has been given "substantial" damages after suing the owner of a website which suggested she was a "porn actress".
Share this article

A former girlfriend of the Duke of York has been given "substantial" damages after suing the owner of a website which suggested she was a "porn actress".

Koo Stark, 63, took legal action against Viacom International Media Networks, which owns MTV Networks, over an article published online in October 2018.

Detail of the litigation was outlined to a High Court judge on Friday by a lawyer representing Ms Stark, who was in a relationship with the duke during the 1980s when he was known as Prince Andrew.

Solicitor Jonathan Coad told Mr Justice Warby at a High Court hearing in London that at one time Ms Stark had been widely expected to marry the prince.

He said allegations made against Ms Stark in the article, headlined "When Prince Andrew dated a Porn Star", were defamatory.

Mr Coad said Ms Stark was an American photographer and actress.

He said she had never participated in "any enterprise" which could "properly be described as pornographic".

Mr Coad said Viacom had undertaken not to repeat the allegations and had paid Ms Stark a "substantial sum of money by way of damages".

He said Viacom had also agreed to pick up Ms Stark's lawyers' bills.

Ms Stark was not in court to hear Mr Coad read out a statement to the judge.

Mr Coad told the judge the article concerned a forthcoming MTV series called Royal World, citing "dramatic moments" from the history of the royal family.

One carried the headline "When Prince Andrew dated a Porn Star".

He said that portion of the article featured a picture of Andrew and read: "This is why the Royal Family should have their own reality show (to be honest). During a trip to the Caribbean, Andrew was seen with Koo Stark, an American lady who was no stranger to the porn scene. We can imagine Lizzy was not impressed."

Mr Coad said the allegations made against Ms Stark in the article were defamatory and published to a "very large number of individuals" on Viacom's MTV website.

The judge was told that the "words at issue" meant, and would have been understood to mean, that Ms Stark was a "porn actress" who had "made her living" participating in films made by pornographers for distribution in the pornography market.

"Ms Stark, who was at one time widely expected to marry HRH Prince Andrew, has never participated in any pornographic film, posed for pornographic photographs, or participated in any enterprise which could be properly described as pornographic," said Mr Coad.

"Ms Stark is an American photographer and actress."

He said Viacom had "undertaken not to repeat the allegations" which were the subject of the proceedings, had "paid a substantial sum of money by way of damages" to Ms Stark and paid her legal costs.