On this day in 1987, former deputy chair of the Conservative Party, Jeffrey Archer, was awarded record libel damages at the High Court.
The Daily Star newspaper was ordered to pay the MP £500,000 damages along with £700,000 costs, for a front page story the previous November alleging Mr Archer had paid to have sex with a prostitute.
The total bill of £1.2m made it the fourth most most expensive libel action ever. Such was the depth of the three week trial, Judge Mr Justice Caulfied spoke of the "enormous burden" carried by the jury and excused them from jury service for fifteen years. Daily Star editor Lloyd Turner would only say his paper's owners, Express Newspapers, would be appealing.
The story about Mr Archer paying prostitute Monica Cooghlan £2,000 to go on holiday first appeared in the News of the World in October 1986 and led to his resignation as vice-chair of ther Conservative Party. Five days later the Daily Star compounded the libel by publishing further details of allegations about Mr Archer paying Miss Cooghlan £50 for sex and £20 for extra time' in the September.
In court Mr Archer told the jury he was "an honourable fool" tricked into giving Ms Coghlan money as the newpapers attempted to spoil his political career.
Jeffrey Archer was made a life peer in 1992 for his services to the Conservative Party.
He was involved in an insider dealing scandal in 1994.
In 1999 Archer qwas forced to withdraw from the London mayoral race after his one-time friend Ted Francis revealed he had asked him to provide a false alibi in the 1987 trial. He was also expelled from the Conservative Party for five years.
Archer was eventually in court accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice at the 1987 trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in jail.
For a brief look at Jeffrey Archer's rise to fame, click the video link below: