Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebrities Collection: Pitt, Jolie win privacy damages from UK tabloid

Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie accepted undisclosed damages on Thursday from a Sunday newspaper in Britain over claims they were separating, their lawyer said.

The unmarried actors had sued the News of the World on privacy grounds over a front-page story in January that claimed they had consulted a lawyer and were dividing up their assets and access to their six children.

The story was picked up by media organisations around the world, but the tabloid newspaper has now agreed to publish an apology and pay the couple their costs and damages, their lawyer Keith Schilling said.

Schilling said the couple’s US lawyers had written to the newspaper to inform them the allegations were false but it failed to issue a retraction, and the publication “spawned an array of false stories” all over the world.

“In consequence, when the News of the World failed to publicly retract the allegations and apologise for them — thereby leaving their readers in the dark as to the true position — the couple felt they had no alternative than to sue,” Schilling said after the hearing in London’s High Court.

“Today’s victory marks the end of the litigation brought by Brad and Angelina.”

The couple, who were not present in court, would give the damages to charity, Schilling said.

The News of the World, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News International group and one of Britain’s biggest-selling papers, said it would not be commenting on the case. It is expected to publish the apology in Sunday’s edition. - AFP

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