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Zeta Jones will appear in court

Jan 16 2003

By Stephen Howard

 

Wales's Hollywood superstar Catherine Zeta-Jones will appear personally at the High Court later this month with her husband Michael Douglas.

Their decision to give evidence in their battle with Hello! magazine is expected to create the biggest media circus ever known at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.

The golden couple are suing the magazine for millions of pounds for publishing "surreptitious" photographs of their wedding in New York in November 2000.

Their move followed a landmark ruling by the Court of Appeal which for the first time recognised that celebrities have rights to privacy.

The couple had signed a 1 million deal with OK! magazine for exclusive pictures of their 1.2 million wedding - but rival Hello! hit the streets three days earlier than OK! with its own "exclusive" photographs of the stars at their wedding in the Plaza Hotel.

It was claimed at earlier hearings that Hello! boss Eduardo Sanchez had had his 2,000,000 offer for exclusive rights turned down.

The couple will claim at the trial scheduled for January 27 that their private lives had been violated, causing them stress and loss of income from syndication rights.

They will say their professional careers had been damaged because the photographs published by Hello! were of poor quality.

Michael Tugendhat QC, representing the couple, told the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Andrew Morritt, at a preliminary hearing today that the couple would be present for the trial.

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