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Press Association
Wed 12 Nov 2003
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1:50pm (UK)
Michael Douglas Talks Majorca, Not Atkins Diet

By Peter Woodman, Travel Correspondent, PA News

Hollywood superstar Michael Douglas today spoke hungrily of one of Britain’s top foreign hotspots, but denied all knowledge of wife Catherine Zeta Jones’ alleged aversion to the Atkins Diet.

The Welsh-born Oscar-winning actress was reported today to be prepared to sue anyone who claimed she had been on the famous diet.

But when asked about this at the World Travel Market trade exhibition in London today, Douglas expressed complete bewilderment.

“I know nothing about this. You are ahead of me on this one. I don’t know anything,” said the star who was at the exhibition to promote Majorca.

Douglas, watched by an eager crowd who deserted their own exhibition stands to get as close as possible to the actor, was far more forthcoming when he spoke about the joys of Majorca, one of the Balearic Islands, to which he has been associated for about 25 years.

He was celebrating the signing of a deal – believed to be worth around £3.3million – in which the Balearic government will acquire the Costa Nord Cultural Centre which Douglas created and opened about five years ago in the historic Majorcan town of Valldemossa.

The deal also involves the actor promoting Majorca at international tourism fairs over the next few years.

As camera flashes went off and waiters prepared to pour champagne, Douglas told the throng: “It’s easy to spread the word about Majorca as it has such a wide selection of things to see and do in such a very small area.

“I have been speaking about Majorca for years and years and it is now great honour to have the blessing of the government to do it.”

Douglas’s appearance in London comes just five days after he and Zeta Jones were awarded £14,600 at the High Court in London at the close of a three-year court battle against Hello! magazine for snatching pictures of their celebrity wedding.

The couple had claimed £600,000 for damage to their commercial rights as well as personal distress for Hello!’s breach of a £1million deal between the couple and OK! magazine for exclusive coverage of their nuptials in New York in 2000.

But in the High Court last week, Mr Justice Lindsay ruled out giving the wealthy couple substantial damages. He ordered Hello! to pay OK! £1,033,156 for publishing covertly-taken photos of the wedding before its bitter rival.

Britons are now benefiting from the scrapping of an “eco tax” introduced on Majorca last year. Speaking with Douglas today, Balearic Government president Jaime Matas said: “This tax damaged us as a tourist destination and we have eliminated it. Tourists are very much welcome to the Balearic islands.”



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