Celebrity magazine OK! has won its marathon court battle with rival Hello! over the wedding pictures of Hollywood stars Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.
The House of Lords, Britain’s highest court, ruled that Hello! had breached OK!’s confidentiality when it published unauthorised photographs of the ceremony at New York’s Plaza Hotel in November 2000.
The Douglases, who were not involved in the House of Lords case, were paid £1 million by OK! for exclusive coverage of the wedding.
The couple, together with OK!, sued Hello! when it published paparazzi pictures taken surreptitiously at the wedding by a photographer posing as a guest or waiter.
Three out of five Law Lords found in OK!’s favour over confidentiality but lawyers for Hello! said the victory was soured by a finding that Hello! had not knowingly injured OK!’s business.
This meant, said the lawyers, that the estimated £8 million costs of the case were expected to be shared by the two magazines.
The Douglases and OK! won at the High Court in April 2003 but an award of £1 million damages was quashed after Hello! successfully went to the Court of Appeal in May 2005. The damages award will now be reinstated.