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Press & publishing  |  Special report: Zeta Jones v Hello!


OK! takes Zeta Jones fight to House of Lords

Press Association
Friday June 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 today ordered OK! to pay back damages, costs and interest amounting to nearly £2m to rival celebrity magazine Hello!.

In addition, the appeal court, which last month overturned a high court ruling that Hello! should pay more than £1m 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 £2m but OK! can deduct from this the costs of an early court of appeal hearing that 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 £1m 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 Zeta Jones and Douglas after the high court ruled Hello! had breached their rights of confidence have not been challenged in the appeal.

· To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email or phone 020 7239 9857

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 Hello!'s high court appeal
18.05.2005: Hello! wins OK! damages appeal
18.05.2005: Hello! ruling is 'huge own goal', lawyers warn
19.05.2005: Even C-list stars can profit from magazines
19.05.2005: Edgar Forbes: Perils ahead for UK press
14.12.2004: Hello! implicates papers in Zeta Jones row
13.12.2004: Judgment 'nothing to do with confidence'
13.12.2004: Hello! fights 1m Zeta Jones damages
09.12.2004: Hello! to appeal against 1m damages award
24.02.2004: No win, no fee for Hello! lawyers

 Damages claim
23.01.2004: Zeta Jones gets costs but may end up paying out 1m
16.01.2004: Hello! to appeal Zeta Jones payout
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

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

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! special report
Press and privacy

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