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Friday, 10 August, 2001, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Hello! set to sue over Brosnan wedding
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith in Ireland
Brosnan and his bride married in County Mayo on 4 August
Hello! magazine is set to sue the Irish Star over the publication of what it believed were exclusive photographs of Bond star Pierce Brosnan's wedding to Keely Shaye Smith.

On Thursday the paper published a set of photographs which Hello! billed in this week's issue as world exclusives.

We were very, very angry - we spent six months negotiating the rights

Phil Hall, Hello! editor-in-chief
The magazine is looking for compensation for what editor-in-chief Phil Hall said was the "seven-figure sum" spent on the photo deal.

The Irish Star is 50% owned by Richard Desmond, the proprietor of OK! Magazine, a rival to Hello!

If a settlement is not reached, legal action is likely to commence within the next week, according to magazine's solicitors Charles Russell.

The Irish Star was unavailable for comment.

'Seven-figure sum'

Mr Hall told BBC News Online of his reaction at seeing the photographs in the Irish Star.

"We were very, very angry," he said.

"We spent six months negotiating the rights and they cost us a seven-figure sum.

car believed to contain Keely Shaye Smith
The wedding had massive security
"I asked the editor of the Irish Star how he got the pictures and he said he didn't know - that's ridiculous."

Chris Hutchings, solicitor for Hello! at Charles Russell told BBC News Online: "No negatives were supplied by our clients.

"One can assume that the pictures were scanned - but that's speculative at this stage."

Mr Hall dismissed the suggestion that anyone at Hello! might have been involved in scooping the exclusive.

"There's no way this could be an inside job - the photos were marshalled by a security officer at all times."


Mr Hutchings said that the magazine would be pressing for a substantial settlement.

"I can't divulge the amount, but it was a very valuable feature and a very substantial sum was paid, and they will be looking for an appropriate sum of compensation for spoiling the exclusive," said Mr Hutchings.

Balintubber Abbey
Balintubber Abbey, where the marriage took place
In 2000, OK! obtained an injunction against Hello! after the latter bought photographs of the wedding of Michael Douglas to Catherine Zeta Jones, to which OK! had obtained the exclusive rights.

Mr Hutchings said that if the Irish Star did not respond, legal action could follow swiftly.

"They've had a letter of complaint, but we haven't heard back yet," he said.

"If we don't have a satisfactory response with undertakings, legal action will be commenced in the next week."

See also:

06 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Brosnan marries in secret ceremony
11 Jun 01 | Entertainment
Brosnan set for summer wedding
21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Zeta Jones can sue Hello!
22 Nov 00 | Business
OK! owner buys Express
29 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Anthea picture leaves sour taste
29 Aug 00 | UK
Cashing in on the big day
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