'This time, Justin messed with the wrong woman': Triumphant Tulisa settles legal action against ex over sex tape publication
19:20 GMT, 12 July 2012
Tulisa sued after intimate footage of her and Justin Edwards appeared onlinePair settled after he admitted responsibility and apologised publiclyX Factor judge said she is a 'stronger, wiser woman' after the experienceSaid Edwards' attempt to 'make money and ruin my career' failedEdwards 'deeply regretful over consequences of his actions'Admitted she's now excited about celebrating her birthday in Ibiza
A triumphant Tulisa Contostavlos arrived at London's High Court today to accept an apology from the ex-boyfriend who leaked intimate footage of them together.
The singer, sporting newly-blonde locks, settled her legal action against Justin Edwards after he admitted he was responsible for releasing the sex tape that appeared online and agreed to say sorry.
Tulisa told waiting photographers she was thrilled that 'the truth had come out' over the publication of the intimate footage.
And, in her statement, she added: 'This time, Justin messed with the wrong woman'.
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Vindicated: X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos made her statement at the High Court in London today after winning a case over a sex video that was leaked on the internet by former boyfriend Justin Edwards
Now, I'm off to Ibiza! Tulisa looked stony-faced as she left the court, but cheered up as she spoke to reporters
'This time, Justin messed with the wrong woman': Tulisa Contostavlos gave a statement to reporters outside the High Court today after settling her legal action against ex boyfriend Justin Edwards over the publication of a sex tape of the couple
She added: 'I am relieved that this is finally over. It has been a very testing few months and this was not a case I ever wanted to go through.
'Justin Edwards's actions were to spite me, make money and ruin my career. He has succeeded in none of these things.
'I stand here today a stronger, wiser young woman who has taken this experience and learnt from it.'
Admission: Justin 'MC Ultra' Edwards admitted he was behind the leak of a sex tape featuring X Factor judge Tulisa despite initially claiming it wasn't him
She continued: 'I am disgusted by
Justin and saddened by the people that believed I released the footage
myself. Today the truth has prevailed. After months of lying to the
public and lying in court, Justin has finally admitted to being guilty
and I hope justice is served.'
She also had a special message for fans who have supported her in her battle with her ex.
Tulisa added: 'I would now like to draw a line
under this and put it in the past. I also would like to thank from the
bottom of my heart the fans that stood by me. I'm especially grateful
for all the support I have received from the public, my friends, family
'With that support and my determination I have won this battle. This time, Justin messed with the wrong woman.'
Asked if she had learned anything from the sex tape being made public, Tulisa, who turns 24 tomorrow, replied: 'Take it, use it as experience to make you stronger and don't let it beat you.'
She then told reporters: 'I'm just really happy that the truth is
out. It's a fresh start for me today after this, and it's my birthday,
and now, of course, I'm off to Ibiza.'
Her solicitor, Jonathan Coad, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the
invasion of Miss Contostavlos's privacy 'was of the most severe kind
He said: 'She suffered and continues to suffer very serious distress at this
wholly unjustified and unlawful interference with her rights.
'She has been particularly distressed by the wholly untrue allegation
made by some that she was in some way complicit with the release of the
footage. She was not, as this statement makes clear.'
Victory: Tulisa said in her statement that Justin had 'messed with the wrong woman'
Moving on: Tulisa said she now wants to put the controversy behind her and get on with her life
Visible relief: Tulisa said she is relieved the ordeal is finally over after a 'very testing few months'
Mr Coad said that Edwards, who was not present but accepted all that was
said on behalf of Miss Contostavlos, had also agreed not to speak
further in public about their relationship.
He added that Edwards, by consenting
to the statement being read, acknowledged publicly that, he was
responsible for causing the publication of the video, without the
knowledge or consent of Miss Contostavlos, by entrusting it to others
with whom he entered into a number of commercial arrangements.
The solicitor said that Edwards had asked him to express his sincere apologies to Miss Contostavlos, her family and her fans.
He said: 'He now realises that his
actions were misguided by the bad advice of others, that he displayed
terrible judgment by heeding that advice and this has directly caused
severe anxiety and distress to Miss Contostavlos and her family.
'Betrayed': Tulisa and Ultra during happier times at the Mobo Awards after-party in Glasgow, Scotland in October 2009
'He now entirely accepts that he
should not have done so. He is deeply regretful of the consequences of
his actions, as it was never his intention to cause Miss Contostavlos or
her family any harm.'
Mr Coad said that Miss Contostavlos
accepted that Edwards genuinely regretted what he had done, but remained
determined to continue her claim against the others involved in
exploiting her privacy.
Mr Coad said that as a result of the litigation, 60 websites had been forced to remove the footage.
TULISA'S FULL STATEMENT
I am relieved that this is finally over. It has been a very testing few months and this was not a case I ever wanted to go through.
Justin Edwards's actions were to spite me, make money and ruin my career. He has succeeded in none of these things.
I stand here today a stronger, wiser young woman who has taken this experience and learnt from it.
I am disgusted by Justin and saddened by the people that believed I released the footage myself.
Today the truth has prevailed. After months of lying to the public and lying in court, Justin has finally admitted to being guilty and I hope justice is served.
I would now like to draw a line under this and put it in the past.
I also would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the fans that stood by me. I'm especially grateful for all the support I have received from the public, my friends, family and team.
With that support and my determination I have won this battle.
This time, Justin messed with the wrong woman.
Ms Contostavlos, who shot to fame as a
member of hip hop group N-Dubz and landed a high-profile role as a
judge on the X Factor talent show, launched legal action against Mr
Edwards and others following the emergence of the footage.
She won a High Court order in March banning publication of footage showing her 'engaged in a sexual act'.
The singer and Mr Edwards had been in a relationship in their teens which ended in 2009.
In an internet statement broadcast on YouTube, the 23-year-old described
being 'devastated' and 'heartbroken' over publication of the tape.
She said: 'When you share an intimate
moment with someone that you love, you care about and you trust, you
never imagine for one minute that that footage may at any point be
shared with the rest of the UK or the rest of the people around the
'It's a pretty tough time for me, but I don't feel I should be the one to take the heat for it.
is something he took upon himself to put the footage online, and now
he's sitting in silence and pretending that it's not him on the tape
when it is.
'I'm not going sit here and be violated or taken advantage of.'
The garage MC defended himself in an interview with Loaded magazine.
Edwards said Tulisa should spoken to him BEFORE naming him publicly and
blaming him for its release.
He also blasted Simon Cowell for calling him a 'scumbag', insisting he was hung out to dry by Tulisa's powerful PR machine.
The 28-year-old gave a detailed insight into how the scandal broke – admitting it was him and her in the film.
He said: 'It was filmed on Tulisa's mobile, a Blackberry I think, and I never even thought of it again until it came out.'
Travelling in style: Tulisa later shared a picture of herself and her crew heading to Ibiza to celebrate her birthday
He said the intimate scene was filmed
backstage during the N-Dubz Against All Odds tour when they 'snuck off
for a bit of naughty time'.
Justin said they split in 2010,
towards the end of the tour – because 'she isn't the type of girl I
wanted' – and then he heard no more from her until late last year.
He said: 'She rang me about a story that came out in The Sun about somebody trying to sell a sex tape. It came out of the blue.'
The singer said Tulisa texted him and asked, 'Did we make one'
He said: 'I said, 'what do you mean
did we make one' She was asking – knowing we did – because it sounded
funny on the phone like maybe I was being recorded or something.
'I was like, 'You know we made one, what are you talking about You know we made one.' Then she was like 'Oh, oh'. I said 'is it definitely coming up' She said, 'Yeah, well, er, I'm not sure.”'
'The truth about the tape' The X Factor judge said her piece in a gutsy video she posted on YouTube
you share an intimate moment with someone you love, you never expect
The singer insisted he told Tulisa he had never sold a story about them before and she never asked him if he had sold the sex video – which he maintains he didn't.
He said he was angry with her questions in the text messages because, he said, she did not even know if the film was real and “there were a couple of other options of people it could have been and who could have put it out there”.
But he said she dropped him in it by recording her message on YouTube, naming him as the culprit for the sex tape's release.
He said: 'It wasn't me. She just jumped on YouTube like it was a show. I don't understand – you've told the world that I've done it without even asking me.
'Tulisa's caning me on TV, without even a phone call.'
Loaded magazine says Edwards was not paid for his interview.
Video: Tulisa Contostavlos reads her statement outside court