A businessman whose personal details were "laid bare" in fake libellous entries on Facebook has been awarded £22,000 damages against a former friend who created the profile.
Mathew Firsht, managing director of Applause Store Productions Ltd, sued an old schoolfriend, freelance cameraman Grant Raphael, for libel and misuse of private information.
A judge at the High Court in London ruled that Mr Raphael's defence to the action - that the entry was created by mischievous party gate-crashers at his flat - was "built on lies".
Deputy Judge Richard Parkes QC awarded Mr Firsht £15,000 for libel and £2,000 for breach of privacy. Mr Firsht's company, which finds audiences for TV and radio shows and provides warm-up services for live audiences, including the evictions on Big Brother, was awarded £5,000 for libel.
Mr Firsht accused Mr Raphael of creating a false personal profile, and a company profile called "Has Mathew Firsht lied to you?", from a computer at the flat where Mr Raphael was living in Hampstead, north west London, in June last year.
Mr Raphael claimed that "strangers" who attended an impromptu party at the address that day sneaked off to a spare bedroom and created the profiles on his PC.
The profiles were on the site for 16 days until Mr Firsht's brother spotted them and they were taken down by Facebook.
The judge heard that the private information concerned Mr Firsht's whereabouts, activities, birthday and relationship status and falsely indicated his sexual orientation and political views.
It said that he was "Looking for: whatever I can get" in terms of relationships and was signed up to groups including Gay in the Wood...Borehamwood, and Gay Jews in London.
Mr Firsht complained about allegations that he owed substantial sums of money which he had repeatedly avoided paying by lying, and that he and his company were not to be trusted in the financial conduct of their business and represented a serious credit risk.
He accused Mr Raphael of bearing a grudge against him since they fell out in 2000 and of creating a false Facebook entry with the aim of causing him anxiety and embarrassment.