Tommy Sheridan has sensationally won his defamation action against the News of the World.The jury took 150 minutes to reach their verdict. Sheridan collects £200,000 for his trouble.
After Gail Sheridan's testimony a few days ago, I thought the case had swung in Tommy Sheridan's favour, especially after his summing up, which was emotional, humorous (he offered to strip off in court in case the jury wanted to check his body hair, after Gail had said he was "a monkey," a fact none of the women he had allegedly slept with had mentioned), and passionate.
But yesterday, the News of the World QC seemed to press all the buttons. Had 18 witnesses lied? Had they put their careers on the line to perjure under oath? Could a jury really believe that? Then he referred to Tommy Sheridan's "monster ego". This was a killer point, as the man obviously has a huge ego. No one starts a very left-leaning political party, becomes a public celebrity, and actually succeeds in winning 6 seats in the Scottish Parliament without having a huge ego. Sheridan's ego has always been his strength and his Achilles' heel, that feeling that whenever he spoke up for the poor and downtrodden, he had half an eye on how he was looking through the camera lens.
I thought that swung the case back in the balance. I had no idea what the decision was going to be. In a way I'm glad that Tommy Sheridan has won. It's a kick in the teeth for the tabloid newspapers and that's no bad thing.
I noticed this morning's Daily Record reported that a leading Scottish writer is already writing a theatre script based on the trial and is going to offer the lead role to Tommy Sheridan himself! Sometimes real life feels too weird for words, even for words on a blog...
Until the play opens, we can look forward to the perjury trial of those under suspicion of telling bare-faced lies in court. That will be very, very interesting.