herald

Thursday 23 October 2014

My phone's off and I'm chilling in Miami for a month -- Louis

LOUIS Walsh has turned off his phone and will spend a month Stateside following a torrid year.

The X Factor judge told the Herald he will spend January winding down in the sunny US state of Miami after celebrating Christmas in his native Mayo.

As is his annual tradition, the music mogul jetted away to his bolt-hole in Miami for a month of relaxation after a spell in Mayo with mum Maureen.

The music manager has had a tough year and could be forgiven for wanting to get away from it all for a relaxing spell in his luxurious property. In December last month, the band manager -- who has achieved global success with Boyzone and Westlife -- won a €500,000 lawsuit against News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun.

In 2011 The Sun newspaper printed false allegations that Louis had sexually assaulted a man in the toilets of a Dublin nightclub.

Leonard Watters (24) from Navan, Co Meath, was later sentenced last January to six months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to making two false reports.

An out-of-court deal was reached after Walsh sued Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers over the June 2011 story, which ran with the headline "Louis Probed Over 'Sex Attack' on Man in Loo".

But now that the case is behind him, Louis is looking forward to basking in the Florida sun.

He has celebrated every New Year's Eve in Florida for the past number of years at his home beside South Beach.

"I spent Christmas Day with my mother and my family down in Kiltimagh and then I flew over to Miami a few days later.

"I go every year and this year, I'm going to switch my phone off and do absolutely nothing for a whole month. I can't wait," he told the Herald.

"I just want to recharge my batteries and relax, that's it," added the busy manager who as always has big plans for next year.

"When I come back, I'm going to be working with Shane Filan, hopefully I'll be back on the X Factor for another year and we've lots of things planned for Jedward."

Following last November's settlement, Louis told how the ordeal completely drained him emotionally and had tarnished his name, both professionally and personally.

Walsh revealed he was traumatised that the untrue allegation had ever published.

"I'll never get over it," he said. "Nothing can ever compensate me for the damage that was done to my reputation by The Sun and the trauma it caused to me, my family and close circle of friends."

hnews@herald.ie

Opinion

Entertainment News