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David Irving v Penguin Ltd and Prof Deborah Lipstadt

AFTER one of the many successful pre-trial hearings in the case, held before Master Trench on September 11, 1998, Mr Irving made to Penguin Books Ltd a verbal offer to release them from the action, followed that same day by a written offer to them, in which he undertook to halt all further action against them in return for a token payment of five hundred pounds (£500.00) to a charity for the limbless, and an apology. It was of course open to the defendant to seek to negotiate even better terms (for example no public apology). Penguin Books Ltd chose to fight the action to the bitter end, at an eventual cost to themselves of some four million dollars. Lipstadt ran up further defence costs on a similar scale. Much of the money was spent on payments to the neutral witnesses the defendants hired to express their expert opinions about Mr Irving or on points of history.

The offer was subsequently extended to both defendants (by which time of course Lipstadt had spent huge sums of money).



Lipstadt, BatemanLetter to Messrs Davenport Lyons
[solicitors for Penguin Books Ltd]

September 11, 1998:

Irving vs. Penguin and Lipstadt: Denying the Holocaust

This action has now been progressing for two years. Today as you will know there was a lengthy hearing before Master Trench, and I spoke with a representative of your firm [Mark Bateman, standing behind right shoulder of Lipstadt, in photo]. It is quite apparent to me that your client does not share the bitter hostility of Ms Lipstadt and Mr Julius. I would be willing to settle with Penguin separately quite independently of Ms Lipstadt on the following terms:-

Your clients would write me an open letter withdrawing the allegations made in the book by Deborah Lipstadt entitled Denying the Holocaust on their account, though I appreciate they cannot do so on the author's account.

Your clients would undertake not to re-publish these allegations and would further undertake to use all reasonable endeavours to withdraw the work from sale in the jurisdiction and destroy all remaining copies. I would further ask your client as a token of apology to pay the sum of £500 to the British Limbless ex-Servicemen's Association in the name of my daughter (who lost her legs).

If your clients would agree to such a settlement I would suggest that there should be no order as to costs between us. I further propose that it would be in the interests of myself and your clients that the terms of any settlement should be kept confidential and not disclosed to the First Defendant or her solicitors.

For the avoidance of any possible doubt as to the position between myself and Ms Lipstadt the terms of this settlement would have to be put into Tomlin form specifically reserving my right to continue the action against Ms Lipstadt. While these are the terms on which I would be prepared to settle with your client I do reserve the right to comment in some detail on the precise form of the Tomlin order because I do not intend to settle with Ms Lipstadt.


Yours faithfully

David Irving


Sept 1998: Mr Irving formally repeated the offer to settle with both defendants if they donated $800 to a charity
Letters, Oct 2004: Popular myth dispelled Richard Santana believes that Mr Irving wanted to make a killing from the Lipstadt trial | Brian Hillman thinks the two offers were spurious

© Focal Point 2000 write to David Irving