JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon and his fiancée Michaele Salahi have received an apology from the Daily Mail for a false story the paper recently published. In a first for the Daily Mail, an apology has been posted on the homepage of the British newspaper's web site and reads as follows:
"On 22 February we published an article about JOURNEY guitarist Neal Schon and his fiancée Michaele Salahi. We accept that these allegations are untrue and apologise to Mr. Schon, Ms. Salahi and the family for any distress caused. We have agreed to pay Mr. Schon and Michaele damages and legal costs."
According to a press release issued by Schon's publicist, the Daily Mail based its February 22, 2013 story on "false and vicious statements" against Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi that had been posted online by Judy Kozan, Schon's former mother-in-law, on her personal blog.
Kozan made the posting just hours after Schon was victorious in a court case filed in January 2013 by Amber Schon, Kozan's daughter, asking for an additional $2,700 in monthly support payments. A Minnesota judge ruled that Schon had met all of his child support obligations and noted that he had paid his ex-wife more than $1.3 million since their divorce in 2007. The judge even recommended (Amber Schon) should "get a job."
As a result of the blog — and the subsequent media coverage it generated — Neal Schon filed a lawsuit against Judy Kozan in Minnesota federal court on March 18, in an attempt to end the constant harassment to which he has been subjected, and for the damage that has been caused.
With respect to the Daily Mail's apology and payment of damages, Neal and Michaele appreciate that these corrective actions have been taken, and will continue to ensure that journalistic integrity is maintained in regards to reports on their professional and personal lives.