Zeta-Jones Loses Fight to Ban Business
By Associated Press
March 18, 2004, 10:12 AM EST
MUMBLES, Wales --
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on Thursday lost a bid to stop a businessman running his IT business from a barn close to her new luxury home in her Welsh hometown.
Swansea councilors voted to allow entrepreneur Steve Gwynn to continue to use the outbuilding located on a prestigious estate in the seaside village of Mumbles, where Zeta-Jones has built a 1.1 million pound (US$2 million) home.
Lawyers for Zeta-Jones' parents and her firm, CZ Investments, had written to the council expressing extreme "concern and alarm" about Gywnn's business.
The letter said the family was concerned that visits by staff members working for the IT firm would jeopardize their privacy, asserting that they bought the plot "on the clear understanding that it would be private, prestigious and exclusive and extremely safe and secure as it was a 'gated' development."
Gwynn pointed out in return that his property generates far less interest that the Zeta-Jones mansion, which has already attracted flocks of stargazers.
Swansea Councilor Des Thomas, who pointed out that the compound was close to a cricket club and other public facilities, said the family should have built their home in the more secluded town of Llandeilo if they wanted more privacy.
Another councilor, Mary Jones, said she thought the council had been put under extreme pressure to close down the business because of Zeta-Jones' involvement.
"If it was one of us or anyone else we would not have this pressure put upon us," Jones said.
Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press