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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 17:40 GMT
OK! fined over Madonna wedding
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Madonna and Guy Ritchie at the christening of son Rocco
OK! magazine has been fined after being found guilty of misleading readers over its coverage of Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie.

A reader complained that the magazine's front cover boasted of pictures of Madonna's "beautiful dress" and the "romantic ceremony" - when there were none of either.

OK!'s owners, Northern and Shell PLC, were fined 3,500 and ordered to pay 1,000 costs at Stratford Magistrates' Court.

Madonna and Ritchie married at at Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands in December last year.


Fans expected there to be photographs of the ceremony and dress, but there were none

Noel Hunter, Trading Standards
Noel Hunter, director of Warwickshire Trading Standards, which brought the case, said he was delighted with the verdict.

"At the time of Madonna's wedding, fans were desperate to see pictures of the dress, as press access to the wedding had been restricted," said Hunter.

"Fans saw the cover of OK! magazine, stating 'Wedding souvenir special' and 'Only in OK! 45 Pages of pictures' and making reference to 'the beautiful dress' and 'the romantic ceremony'.

Apology

"They naturally expected there to be photographs of the wedding ceremony and Madonna's dress, but there were none.

"This service investigated, following a complaint from a member of the public in Warwickshire."

Mr Anthony Burton, who represented OK!, apologised on behalf of the magazine.

He said they had no intention of misleading readers.

Stratford Magistrates said they were concerned that a national magazine had done this, but accepted that the company was now seeking advice and had co-operated fully with the investigation.

JK Rowling
All four of Rowling's books have been huge sellers

The magazine was also in trouble in October when the Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint by JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.

The author complained after OK! published photographs of Rowling and her eight-year old daughter on a beach in Mauritius.

She said that the photographs were an invasion of her privacy - and a breach of the rule in the newspaper code of practice which bans pictures of children just because their parents are famous.

See also:

23 Nov 01 | Showbiz
Madonna 'angry' over Morton book
19 Dec 00 | Scotland
Stars arrive for Madonna wedding
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