Expensive Day for Zeta-Jones, Douglas
A High Court judge in London has ruled that Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas will have to pay a portion of the $7.4 million in legal costs from their battle last year with Hello! magazine over unauthorized wedding photos, the Associated Press reports.
Last November, the celeb couple was awarded a paltry $26,000 in damages in their fight against the celeb magazine, which printed unauthorized pics from their November 2000 wedding after they had already sold exclusive rights to rival publication OK! (That magazine was awarded $1.8 million in damages — the amount it paid for exclusive rights to the wedding.)
Judge John Lindsay on Friday said Hello! must pay 75 percent of the costs from the first hearing and 85 percent from the damages hearing, with the Douglases and OK! left to split the remaining costs, according to published reports.
It was unclear how OK! and the Douglases would split the costs, but lawyers said the stars were bound to lose, Reuters reports.
“However you look at the figures, they are going to be hugely out of pocket. Their damages will be more than wiped out,” Christopher Hutchings, a lawyer for Hello! said.
Appeals are now underway. Hello! is seeking to overturn the ruling against the magazine, while Zeta-Jones and Douglas have won the right to appeal the judge’s ruling that the photos didn’t invade their privacy.