December 09, 2004 02:00 PM

It’s back to court for the case that pitted Catherine Zeta-Jones and her husband Michael Douglas against British celebrity magazine Hello!

The magazine plans to appeal last year’s legal decision that it shell out more than $1.9 million to a rival publication for printing unauthorized photos of the celebrity couple’s November 2000 wedding.

On Thursday in London, Hello! lawyer Christopher Hutchings said the magazine would go to court at the beginning of next week to fight the damages award to OK!, reports the Associated Press. He said the magazine would not challenge a $28,000 payment made to Douglas, 60, and Zeta-Jones, 35.

Last year, a High Court judge ruled that Hello! had breached the Douglas’s commercial confidentiality by publishing secretly snapped photos of their splashy wedding at New York’s Plaza Hotel. Douglas and Zeta-Jones had signed an exclusive deal with OK! for rights to pictures of the nuptials.

In the 2003 ruling, following a six-week trial at which Zeta-Jones and Douglas both testified, Judge John Lindsay awarded the couple token damages after they had sought upwards of $1 million. In court, Zeta-Jones had said she had felt “violated” by the “sleazy and unflattering” pictures published in Hello!

At the time of last year’s decision, the jurist also declared that OK! was owed more than $1.9 million for commercial damage to its expected exclusive coverage. Both sides were granted permission to appeal aspects of the judgment.

Hutchings said that once court commences next Monday his client is prepared to argue that it had run its own wedding pictures as a journalistic “spoiler” to its rival’s coverage – “no different to any other spoiler in the past or since. Hello! has been subject to many spoilers, including ones from OK!”

You May Like