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Couple say photos of wedding 'stolen'

Associated Press

LONDON | Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were ‘‘deeply distressed’’ when ‘‘stolen’’ photographs of their wedding appeared in a celebrity magazine, their lawyer told Britain’s High Court Monday.

Michael Tugendhat said the Hollywood couple were the victims of conspiracy by Hello! to snatch pictures of the wedding after an offer to buy them was turned down. They are suing the magazine for breach of privacy. ‘‘Anyone would be upset on discovering marriage celebrations — something everyone would wish to be conducted amongst friends in an atmosphere of trust — should be exploited in this way,’’ Tugendhat said.

Hello! claims the pictures were offered on the open market and it was entitled to publish them.

Zeta-Jones, 33, and Douglas, 58, signed an exclusive deal with OK! magazine for pictures of their wedding November 2000 wedding in New York.

But rival Hello! hit the streets three days earlier than OK! with its own ‘‘exclusive’’ photographs of the lavish wedding at The Plaza hotel.

The couple are suing Hello! magazine; its Spanish counterpart, Hola!; the magazine’s proprietor, Eduardo Sanchez Junco; media consultant the Marquesa De Varela; her company Neneta Overseas Ltd.; and freelance photographer Philip Ramey.

The case of Douglas vs. Hello! Ltd. is bringing Hollywood glamour to the High Court’s wood-paneled Court 35. Douglas and Zeta-Jones weren’t in court Monday, but are due to give evidence next week, when their presence is expected to create a media circus at the grand neo-Gothic courthouse.

[From the Dayton Daily News: 02.04.2003]

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