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Zeta-Jones photo case goes to Lords

Jun 24 2005


Lawyers for OK! magazine are to take the epic court battle over the wedding pictures of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas to the House of Lords.

Confirmation of the decision to go to the highest court in the land came after three Court of Appeal judges ordered OK! to pay back damages, costs and interest amounting to nearly £2 million to its rival celebrity magazine, Hello!

In addition, the Appeal Court, which last month overturned a High Court ruling that Hello! should pay more than £1 million damages and a similar amount in costs to OK!, ordered OK! to make an interim payment of £600,000 towards Hello!'s own legal bill.

The final amount of Hello!'s legal costs could approach £2 million but OK! can deduct from this the costs of an earlier Court of Appeal hearing which lifted an injunction barring publication in Hello! of the snatched wedding photographs.

Although Lord Phillips, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Clarke and Lord Justice Neuberger refused permission to go to the Law Lords, OK! can petition directly for the case to be heard.

OK! had a £1 million contract with the Douglases allowing the magazine exclusive coverage of their wedding in New York in November 2000.

Both OK! and the Hollywood couple took Hello! to court after it published the pictures as a spoiler.

Zeta-Jones told the 2003 High Court hearing she felt "devastated, shocked and appalled" when she realised unauthorised photographers had gatecrashed her high-security wedding at the Plaza Hotel.

The £14,600 damages awarded to Douglas and his wife after the High Court ruled Hello! had breached their rights of confidence have not been challenged in the appeal.


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