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Golden couple win Hello! Battle
11/04/2003 - 10:14:13 am
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas today won their privacy action against celebrity magazine Hello! over unauthorised photographs of their November 2000 wedding in New York.
The Hollywood golden couple immediately welcomed the judgment by Mr Justice Lindsay in the high profile £3m (€4.4m) High Court case.
In a joint statement the couple said: “We deeply appreciate that the court has recognised the principle that every individual has the right to be protected from excessive and unwanted media intrusion into their private lives.”
The amount of damages will be assessed at a further hearing.
During the hearing, which lasted six weeks, Zeta Jones, 33, told how she had felt “devastated, shocked and appalled” when she realised that paparazzi had gatecrashed her wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York in November 2000.
She and her 58-year-old husband had signed a £1m (€1.5m) deal with OK! magazine for exclusive coverage of the event after turning down a higher offer from Hello!
Zeta Jones said she felt “violated” when Hello! published the unauthorised photographs, which she claimed were “sleazy and unflattering”.
The judge was deciding if Hello! is liable for damages – the couple are claiming £500,000 (€728,000) and OK! £1.75m (€2.5m).
Mr Justice Lindsay had been told that Zeta Jones was like any other bride in wanting to choose which pictures were published from her wedding.
Instead, a photographer gatecrashed the celebrations and sold the snatched images to Hello!