Publication may say Hello! to lawsuit

Zeta-Jones, Douglas able to sue for breach of contract

LONDON — Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have won a partial victory in their case against Hello! magazine.

The High Court Friday agreed the couple could claim damages for breaches of commercial confidentiality, but ruled they had not suffered an invasion of privacy because Britain has no law of privacy.

Zeta-Jones had claimed her privacy was violated when Hello! published six snatched photographs from her glitzy New York wedding to Douglas after the pair had signed an exclusive deal with rival U.K. celeb mag, OK!.

Neither star was in court for today’s verdict, but in a statement they said the principle that every individual had the right to be protected from media intrusion had been recognized.

However, Hello! publishing director Sally Cartwright said: “We are enormously pleased” and that the magazine’s action had been “completely exonerated.”

OK! had claimed $2.45 million and the Douglases $700,000 in damages, but any payment they eventually gain runs the risk of being swallowed up by their share of a $4.2 million legal bill.

A decision on the amount of damages and on the share of the legal costs was adjourned to a further date.

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