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Press & publishing  |  Special report: press and privacy

Zeta Jones threatens legal action over diet claim

Ciar Byrne
Wednesday November 12, 2003


Catherine Zeta Jones has fuelled her already uneasy relationship with the press by threatening to sue anyone who links her name to the controversial Atkins diet.

Celebrity magazines and gossip pages in publications around the world have suggested Zeta Jones followed the weight loss programme that has swept America and Britain but has raised health fears.

"By stating that Ms Zeta Jones uses an/or endorses the Atkins diet, those publications are falsely representing to the average reader, including many young women who look up to my client and admire her beautiful appearance, that Ms Zeta Jones would recommend this diet to any person looking to lose weight," said the Hollywood star's lawyer in a statement.

"My client is being made to look as if she is more concerned about her outward appearance than she is with serious health concerns. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Last week the high court in London awarded Zeta Jones and her husband Michael Douglas just 14,600 in damages from Hello! magazine, which published snatched photographs of their wedding.

The sum was considered a hollow victory as the couple had reportedly sought 600,000 for personal distress and breach of commercial confidence.

· To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 7239 9857

 Damages claim
07.11.2003: Lawyers unfazed by stars' low damages
07.11.2003: Hollywood stars win 14,600 damages from Hello!
22.07.2003: Hello! Zeta Jones pictures 'blew away' OK!
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

 The verdict
11.04.2003: Zeta Jones wins high court battle
11.04.2003: Full summary of judgment

 The case explained
11.04.2003: How the Hello! spoiler went wrong

 Reaction
12.04.2003: Zeta Jones victory raises threat of privacy law
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

 The QCs
11.04.2003: Legal eagles: Tugendhat and Price

 Comment
14.04.2003: Keith Schilling: Private lessons
11.04.2003: Crisis of confidence: a lawyer writes
11.04.2003: The media must heed this warning shot: a lawyer writes

 Reporting of the case
16.04.2003: Desmond complains at Standard coverage

 How the high court action unfolded
09.04.2003: Zeta Jones verdict due on Friday
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

 Preliminary hearings
28.01.2003: Zeta Jones worried about 'unflattering' photos
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!

 MediaGuardian.co.uk special report
Press and privacy




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