COMEDIAN Frankie Boyle is gifting the £54,650 he was awarded in libel damages from the Daily Mirror to the prisoner campaign group Reprieve.
The High Court in London found the newspaper defamed the 40-year-old Glasgow-born comic by describing him as “racist comedian Frankie Boyle” in an article last year.
Boyle announced the donation on Twitter yesterday, tweeting: “Here’s the good people I’m giving my damages to. They do a lot of inspiring work. Have a look if you get a minute. reprieve.org.uk.”
Clive Stafford Smith, the director of Reprieve, said the donation was “very generous”. He added: “The funds will be put to good use for those people who need it.”
Reprieve “uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantanamo Bay”. The charity says: “We investigate, we litigate and we educate, working on the front-line, providing legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves.”
On Monday, jurors awarded Boyle £50,400 for the defamation and further damages of £4,250 over erroneous claims he was “forced to quit” the television show Mock The Week.
Boyle said the newspaper had “misunderstood” the context of his use of language in jokes, adding that the accusation of racism “goes against everything I’ve tried to do in my work, to do in my life”.
Boyle told jurors, in a week-long trial, that he had been “pretending” to be someone with racist views in the TV episode. He said he had “actively campaigned” against racism and thought it was “important” to highlight the issue in his routines by mocking the attitudes of racists, whom he “despised”.