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Zeta-Jones casts her spell
By Nick Curtis, Evening Standard
10 February 2003

Catherine Zeta-Jones, looking glamorously maternal in the kind of designer trouser suit not to be found in Mothercare, seemed to cast a spell over the men in Court No35.

Justice Lindsay and James Price, QC, the lawyer for Hello!, were extravagantly solicitous of her comfort, given her condition. Taking the offered seat, she acknowledged their kindness with a bat of her devastating eyelashes.

When it was pointed out that both the OK! and Hello! pictures featured the happy couple feeding each other wedding cake, she took issue with the respective distance of cutlery to mouth. "I don't like to see photos of my husband shoving a spoon down my throat," she said.

Flirtatious: Zeta-Jones looked glamorously maternal as she batted her eyelashes
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Repeatedly she stressed that the Hello! photographs had been "stolen". At times, she seemed almost flirtatious. Mr Price tried to establish precisely which intimate moment she considered private. "There are embraces and there are embraces," she said, eyes twinkling as merrily as the diamonds in her ears.

Her just-one-of-the-girls persona was slightly dented, though, by her admission that she and her hubby "didn't need the million quid" they had received from OK!

Michael Douglas sat like a rock, the bouffant wings of his surprisingly blond hair peeping above a stack of legal papers. When it was his turn to take the stand he did it like the second-generation movie star he is.

Standing erect, jaw clenched, he parried Mr Price's questions in the clear, urgent, but slightly-wounded tones so familiar from films such as Basic Instinct and Disclosure.

He bandied around words like "vindictive", "mean-spirited" and "lascivious". He demanded that Mr Price define his terms. And he explained that the couple had chosen to tie the knot at New York's Plaza Hotel to avoid intrusion from what he called "Heel-a-copters".

He said that he and Catherine couldn't understand "why anybody would want to hurt us so much". This was a stirring performance.

Told that both the Hello! and OK! cake-eating photos were charming, he said: "I guess the pap photographer got lucky."

But as Justice Lindsay called a recess, the couple were swept out to their car in the judge's car park. At the High Court at least, their privacy would be maintained.

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