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 Home > Breaking News > Entertainment > Court rules in Zeta Jones wedding case

 
Hollywood couple Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were today awarded more than three quarters of the £4m (€5.8m) they spent suing Hello! Magazine over their wedding photographs.
23/01/2004 - 11:28:55 AM

Court rules in Zeta Jones wedding case 

Hollywood couple Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were today awarded more than three quarters of the £4m (€5.8m) they spent suing Hello! Magazine over their wedding photographs.

The celebrity magazine, which used unauthorised pictures of the New York wedding in 2000, must foot the couple’s massive legal bill together with the £1m (€1.4m) it spent on the case.

A spokesperson for the couple and OK! magazine, which paid £1m (€1.4m) to the couple for exclusive wedding pictures, claimed Hello! faced a total costs bill of £5m (€7.2m).

But Christopher Hutchings, a solicitor for Hello!, said the judge who heard the case, Mr Justice Lindsay, had restricted the Douglases costs’ claim.

It meant the £1m (€1.4m) plus damages the couple and OK! were awarded at the High Court would be wiped out.

“Hello! obviously faces a massive bill but when these figures are finally settled, the Douglases and OK! will also be hugely out of pocket,” he said.

Mr Justice Lindsay ruled in April that Hello!'s use of unauthorised pictures taken secretly at the high security wedding was a breach of commercial confidentiality.


He awarded £14,000 (€20,000) to the couple and £1,033,156m (€1.4m) to OK! which the claimants shared as total damages.

The judge today gave a ruling on who must pay the costs of the hugely-expensive litigation which began more than three years ago when Hello! produced a Douglas wedding edition ahead of OK!’s.

He awarded the claimants 75% of the costs of the hearing into blame and 85% of the costs of the hearing to decide the amount of damages.

Mr Hutchings claimed: “When this matter goes to a cost judge (who allots the final amounts) Hello!’s liability for their side’s costs will amount to as little as 50% of the claimants’ total costs.

“This will mean that, however you look at it, the claimants are going to be hugely out of pocket and their damages award will be more than wiped out.”


                          




 


© Thomas Crosbie Media 2004.