Renowned television personality and comedian David Walliams, recognized for his decade-long tenure as a judge on the hit ITV series 'Britain’s Got Talent' (BGT), has recently settled a high-profile lawsuit against the show's producers, Fremantle.
This legal resolution follows a tumultuous period for Walliams, who departed from the BGT judging panel in November of the previous year amidst controversy over his conduct on the show. Walliams, who graced the BGT stage from 2012 to 2022, found himself at the center of a storm in 2020 when derogatory and s*xually explicit comments he made about contestants during an episode's recording surfaced.
These remarks sparked significant backlash and led to Walliams' eventual exit from the series. The heart of the lawsuit revolved around claims of misuse of private information and breaches of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Walliams, 52, sought substantial damages from Fremantle, initially claiming a figure near £10 million. However, the final settlement reached was reportedly much less than this figure, with sources suggesting it hovered around £1 million - approximately equal to Walliams' annual salary for his role on the show.
Fremantle Apologizes to Walliams
This legal settlement came to fruition following Fremantle's acknowledgment of lapses in their security protocols, which inadvertently led to the leak of Walliams' comments to The Guardian.
While Fremantle has expressed relief at arriving at an amicable resolution, they have also formally apologized to Walliams for the distress caused by the breach of his privacy. A Fremantle spokesperson highlighted the company's regret, stating, "We are sincerely sorry that his private conversations when a judge on Britain’s Got Talent were published, and the great distress this caused David." This development in Walliams' career has garnered widespread attention, symbolizing a significant chapter in the intersection of celebrity, privacy, and media in the modern entertainment landscape.
As Walliams moves forward from this legal chapter, the industry and his fans keenly observe what the future holds for this multifaceted entertainer.