Press & publishing | Special report: press and privacy
Hello! to pay Hollywood couple £14,600 in damages
Friday November 7, 2003
Its rival OK! magazine, which had an exclusive deal to cover the Hollywood couple's marriage in November 2000 in New York,was awarded £1,033,156 in damages by the judge, Mr Justice Lindsay.
Northern & Shell, the owner of OK!, was seeking £1.75m damages, while Douglas and Zeta Jones asked for £500,000 in commercial damages plus £50,000 each for personal distress.
At a hearing in July Alastair Wilson QC, representing the Douglases and OK!, argued his clients should be awarded a "very substantial figure" to demonstrate that Hello! was in the wrong when it published sneaked paparazzi shots of the wedding ceremony at the New York Plaza hotel.
During a six-week hearing at the high court earlier this year, which cost more than £3m in legal fees, Zeta Jones said she felt "devastated, shocked and appalled" when she learned that, despite careful security precautions, a paparazzi photographer had infiltrated her wedding.
Zeta Jones and Douglas claimed victory when Mr Justice Lindsay ruled in April that Hello! had breached their right of confidence.
The Douglases had sold the rights to their wedding pictures to OK! for £1m but before the celebrity magazine came out blurred, snatched pictures from inside the Plaza hotel emerged in the rival title.
British photographer Rupert Thorpe gained access to the event and took photographs he later sold via an intermediary to Hello! for £125,000.
In his judgment in April, Mr Justice Lindsay said he had no doubt the couple suffered "real personal distress" and said the Hello! snaps constituted an unjustified intrusion into the private lives of individuals.
The fact the couple were famous had no bearing on the case, the judge said.
He made it clear, however, his decision was not made on the grounds of privacy, but was based on commercial confidentiality.
Mr Justice Lindsay dismissed nine other claims against Hello!, including the charge the magazine had conspired or commissioned the snatched photos, or had intended to damage the Douglases.
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16.07.2003: Douglases and OK! seek up to £2m
16.07.2003: £100,000 claim over Zeta Jones pictures
16.05.2003: July date set for Zeta Jones damages hearing
11.04.2003: Full summary of judgment
11.04.2003: Zeta Jones judge warns over privacy law
11.04.2003: Madonna's PR and Max Clifford on the ruling
11.04.2003: OK! hails 'historic' victory
11.04.2003: Case means end of road for spoilers
11.04.2003: Crisis of confidence: a lawyer writes
11.04.2003: The media must heed this warning shot: a lawyer writes
10.03.2003: Hello! accused of 'unpleasant' wedding coverage
07.03.2003: Zeta Jones offered wedding 'slice'
07.03.2003: Hello! treated marquesa like a 'doormat'
04.03.2003: Zeta Jones wedding photos 'sold to porn magazine'
04.03.2003: Stars sought to 'control publicity'
18.02.2003: Hello! boss admits to 'misunderstanding'
17.02.2003: Stars 'exaggerated distress', says Hello!
14.02.2003: Hello! attacks 'obsessive' rival
14.02.2003: Zeta Jones wanted money not privacy, says Hello! boss
13.02.2003: Marquesa: 'Hello! boss asked me to lie'
13.02.2003: Stars 'childish' over wedding
12.02.2003: A New York hotel 'could never be private'
12.02.2003: Hello!'s fixer is 'impetuous'
12.02.2003: Hello! 'did not conspire with paparazzi'
12.02.2003: Rod Liddle: Don't let them eat cake
11.02.2003: Zeta Jones hired three security firms for wedding
11.02.2003: Hello! defends use of wedding pictures
11.02.2003: Hello! spoiler cost OK! dear
11.02.2003: Press turns on Zeta Jones
10.02.2003: Douglas: we don't have to 'play ball' with media
11.02.2003: Catherine Zeta Jones' statement
10.02.2003: Zeta Jones accused of over-reacting
10.02.2003: Douglas: we guard our privacy closely
10.02.2003: Zeta Jones: £1m is 'not that much'
10.02.2003: Zeta Jones: I didn't sell my privacy
10.02.2003: Zeta Jones: paparazzi are 'game-hunters'
10.02.2003: Douglas hits out at 'peeping toms'
10.02.2003: Zeta Jones: 'devastated' by paparazzi
10.02.2003: Hollywood comes to town
10.02.2003: Matt Wells: Privacy goes to Hollywood
05.02.2003: Press spoilers 'are commonplace', court told
05.02.2003: Weddings are 'public occasions' says Zeta Jones judge
04.02.2003: Douglases 'forfeited right to privacy'
04.02.2003: Stars and celebrity mags act out their own court drama
04.02.2003: Zeta Jones hires ex-Sunday Times journalist for PR brief
03.02.2003: Douglases gave 'qualified consent' to photos
03.02.2003: Thorpe's son named in Zeta Jones case
03.02.2003: Hello! in 'covert' operation to get wedding pics
03.02.2003: Hollywood stars prepare for battle
27.01.2003: Bid to delay Hollywood stars' court case
16.01.2003: Hello! case will be media circus
21.12.2000: Zeta Jones to sue Hello!
21.12.2000: Zeta Jones free to sue Hello!
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