Entertainer Michael Barrymore wants £2.5m in damages from Essex Police for unlawful arrest but the force thinks he should get £1, a court heard.
The former TV presenter is suing police over his 2007 arrest in connection with the death of a man at his Essex home.
In court documents police said the arrest was unlawful because the officer involved had not been fully briefed.
A High Court judge was told Mr Barrymore was claiming the compensation to compensate him for loss of earnings.
Police argued he should get a “nominal” award of £1 at a hearing on Wednesday.
Mr Barrymore was questioned six years after the body of Stuart Lubbock, 31, was found in the swimming pool at his home in Roydon, Essex.
He was arrested alongside two other men. All three were later released without charge.
No-one has been ever been charged over the death of Mr Lubbock, who was found to have suffered severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault.
A trial has been scheduled to take place next summer at the High Court over the unlawful arrest case.
Lawyers said a judge would be asked to decide whether there had been “reasonable grounds” for Mr Barrymore’s arrest.
The Barrymore/Lubbock case
- March 2001: Stuart Lubbock died at Michael Barrymore’s former home in Roydon, Essex. His bloodstream contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol
- October 2001: Michael Barrymore was given a caution for drugs offences and allowing his home to be used for smoking cannabis
- February 2006: Mr Lubbock’s family are “blocked” from launching a private prosecution due to insufficient evidence
- June 2007: Mr Barrymore is arrested on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder, but the charges are dropped three months later
- February 2009: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry upholds six of 36 complaints and allegations made by Stuart’s father, Terry Lubbock
- March 2011: Police make a new appeal for information on the case
- April 2013: Mr Barrymore lodges a claim for damages for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment with the High Court