Gregory v Ziuzina: successful defence of murder allegations in the Chancery Division (John McLinden QC & John Critchley)

19 November 2019

On Monday 18 November 2019, the High Court dismissed proceedings in which the Pring family alleged Julianna Moore had orchestrated the murder of her husband Barry John Pring in Kiev, Ukraine, on 16/17 February 2008. John McLinden QC & John Critchley represented Ms Moore throughout. At the hearing Mr McLinden read the following agreed statement in open court on behalf of Ms Moore:

“Barry John Pring, was tragically killed in Kyiv on the evening of 16/17 February 2008. Ms Moore lost a dearly loved husband, with whom she had been celebrating their first anniversary and with whom she had been about to go skiing in Colorado, on a deferred honeymoon. The second and third defendants lost a dearly loved son and elder brother, respectively.

In the ensuing 11 years Barry’s family has alleged that Ms Moore murdered Barry by orchestrating his death. As a consequence of the family’s campaign against Ms Moore, certain sections of the media have branded Ms Moore “the Black widow” and have denigrated her character generally.

Over this protracted period the murder allegations and the resultant media intrusion has caused immense distress to Ms Moore and her family.

In August 2017, Ms Moore made an application against Barry’s family to bring its allegations to a head in such a way that they could be determined by this court. In doing so her motive was reputational, not financial. The value of her husband’s estate has been wildly, persistently and erroneously exaggerated in the media.

Today, settlement between the parties was agreed. Barry’s family unreservedly withdraws its allegations that Ms Moore murdered her husband, and undertakes to the court not to repeat the murder allegations, either directly or through third parties. As a consequence, the proceedings it brought against Ms Moore, in which it pursued its murder allegations, are to be dismissed.

Ms Moore is gratified that the family’s proceedings have been resolved in her favour. She hopes that as a result of today’s events the media will desist from further publications that disparage her character and/or infer she murdered Barry.

Neither Ms Moore nor Barry’s family will comment further.”