Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04707-15 Gibb v Sunday Mirror

    • Date complaint received

      18th August 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04707-15 Gibb v Sunday Mirror 

Summary of complaint

1. Dwina Gibb complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Sunday Mirror breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb’s family still waiting for his £26m fortune – three years after his death”, published on 21 June 2015. 

2. The complainant said that the article inaccurately reported that Robin Gibb’s estate had been frozen, and that the beneficiaries had not received their share, after a “row” with the “taxman”. In fact, all bequests provided for in the will had been paid. 

3. The newspaper said that, following pre-publication discussions with the complainant’s representatives, it understood that there were delays in money being distributed, and was under the impression that not all the funds had been distributed. Nonetheless, it accepted that the complainant and others had received their inheritances and offered to publish a correction and apology.

Relevant Code provisions 

Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. 

iii) The press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact. 

Mediated outcome

4. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter. 

5. The newspaper offered to publish the following apology: 

Dwina Gibb and family

In our article of June 21, 2015, “Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb’s family still waiting for his 26m fortune – three years after his death”, we incorrectly said that Robin Gibb’s Will had been frozen and that the beneficiaries had not received “their share”. We would like to make it clear that, in relation to the Will, all inheritance tax has been paid, all bequests have been made and the Estate is ready to be wound up. We apologise for any distress caused to Robin Gibb’s widow, Dwina Gibb, the family and advisers by the inaccuracies in our article. 

6. It also offered to arrange for the publication of a follow up article about the complainant’s work. 

7. The complainant said that the newspaper’s offer would resolve the matter to her satisfaction. 

8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make any determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code. 

Date complaint received: 23/07/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 18/08/2015