They made fun of my name: Bleater-Jones


CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and her husband Michael Douglas gave one of the most dramatic performances of their lives yesterday.

They are pursuing Hello! magazine, which they claim breached their privacy by taking photographs of their wedding when they had an exclusive $3 million deal with its rival OK!

They are claiming $1.5 million damages but if they lose their legal bill could be more than $3 million.

Zeta-Jones gave the court a 24-page statement. Douglas' ran to 12 pages.

Yesterday they went into the witness box to speak of their "trauma".

Miss Zeta-Jones, 33, from Bermuda – she had the choice of five homes to name as her primary address – was in black but diamonds sparkled on her fingers, ears, neck and on her watch.

Her husband was in a dark suit, cream shirt and lilac tie..

For 87 minutes she told how Hello!'s invasion of their November 2000 wedding in New York left her feeling "devastated, ill and upset".

Zeta-Jones said there was extra security at the five-star Plaza Hotel where the marriage ceremony and reception were held, "so that we felt comfortable enough to let our hair down and enjoy the wedding".

The couple rejected a deal with Hello! and picked two photographers – one for the formal shots, the other to capture "reportage" – from which they would then select photos to use in OK!

"I wanted to achieve a sense of familiarity," she said. "I wanted to capture the spirit of the wedding."

Instead, the couple found themselves looking at six grainy Hello! images taken by Rupert Thorpe, son of former British Liberal leader Jeremy, using a camera at his waist.

"Our peace and happiness evaporated. I felt violated," she said.

One Hello! shot which showed Douglas feeding her a piece of wedding cake was published in a newspaper under the headline "Catherine Eater Jones", which she claims opened her up to ridicule.

"There's so many that have gone before and it's getting a little tiresome. A play on words is something that I have had to deal with on many occasions," adding she had once been called Man Eater Jones.

She said the Hello! photographs were so bad that "it looks like my wedding was doused in bad disco lighting", stating money was "not the most important aspect of the deal".

"It's not that much money for us,' she said. "This is absolutely not about money. It's about the fact that a very special harmonious time was spun out of control because a gatecrasher came in and took photographs."

Her 58-year-old husband patted her on the thigh when she sat down and then rose to take his own one hour and 50 minutes in the witness box.

Hello's intrusion was "deeply, deeply offensive" and its subsequent coverage "lascivious", he said.

Hello! counsel James Price said: "People come to these courts for compensation when they have been maimed or disfigured. You would certainly accept that what you have suffered is nowhere near that?"

Douglas acknowledged it was trivial compared with losing an arm.

The case continues.

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They made fun of my name: Bleater-Jones

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