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Mariella Frostrup launches legal action against Sunday Times

Presenter contends that defamatory claim was made regarding author Salman Rushdie

Mariella Frostrup, the Sky Arts and Radio 4 presenter, is launching legal action against the Sunday Times for allegations published in a Camilla Long interview with Salman Rushdie that she 'snogged' the author at his bachelor's party six years ago.

The paper's interviewer Camilla Long alleged that Rushdie "finished the evening by snogging fellow guests Nigella [Lawson], Mariella Frostrup and Dannii Minogue in a game of spin the bottle" at the bachelor party in 2004.

Frostrup took offence to the allegation saying she was invited to the party but she did not attend it. She said the claim was defamatory and undermined her professional reputation.

She added that the claim caused her particular embarrassment because it appeared two weeks before she interviewed Rushdie for her Sky Arts book show programme at this year's Cheltenham literary festival.

"I had to appear in front of 500 people with this claim hanging over me," she added. "I make my living presenting two serious books programmes and I do not go around snogging authors like this," she said.

She also said that the paper did not respond to her lawyers' request for an apology before the Cheltenham interview.