When Jimmy Page Won a ‘Satanist’ Libel Lawsuit
The report in question, published by Ministry in August 1999, used the fact that Bonham died in his Led Zeppelin bandmate's home as the basis for accusing Page of having "selfishly and stupidly caused or contributed" to Bonham's death on Sept. 25, 1980.
The magazine alleged that Page was more worried about keeping Bonham's vomit off his bed than helping him survive, while imagining a weird and insulting fantasy scenario in which Page donned "Satanist robes" and attempted to cast a spell over his dying friend.
The Ministry writer added undue insult and injury to an incident that had already cast a profound pall over Page – not only personally, but professionally. After all, Led Zeppelin decided to break up mere months after Bonham's passing, bringing an end to one of rock's most exciting bands.
Not willing to let Ministry's gaffe pass without punishment, Page took the magazine to court. The case ended with a quick vindication on March 28, 2000.
Publishers Ministry Magazines Ltd. and editor Scott Manson "expressed their sincere apologies for the distress and embarrassment caused and had agreed to pay Page substantial damages, as well as his legal costs," according to the BBC.
In the end, some good came out of the ugly untruths. Page's attorney, Norman Chapman, told reporters that Page would be taking the settlement – which remained undisclosed – and donating it to his favorite charity.
The Action for Brazil's Children Trust is dedicated to bringing education and basic health services to youth in the South American country's most densely populated slums.
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