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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Lopez sues over drug allegations
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Lopez and Anthony married in June 2004
Actress Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony are suing US celebrity magazine National Enquirer for libel.

They are seeking "substantial damages" for a story which alleged they were linked to a drug scandal.

Their lawyer, Paul Tweed, said the story was "totally unfounded", and confirmed he had filed a legal case with the Belfast High Court on Monday.

US stars increasingly pursue libel cases in Europe, as laws are considered more advantageous to the plaintiff.

Ms Lopez and her husband are seeking damages over an article published last month with the headline: "Jennifer and Marc Caught Up In Heroin Scandal".

Mr Tweed said the couple took grave exception to the totally false and unfounded inferences that they had been involved in, associated with or had knowledge of a serious drug scandal as alleged.

He confirmed that the case would also be pursued in Dublin, London and other European cities.

Libel laws

Mr Tweed has a record with celebrity libel claims, including actions for Liam Neeson, Whitney Houston, the Corrs and George Best's family.

Last year, he won an apology from the National Enquirer on behalf of Britney Spears, who sued over claims she was to divorce her then-husband Kevin Federline.

"It's virtually impossible to sue for libel in the United States because of First Amendment protections," Tweed told the Reuters news agency.

"But these publications are now appearing in Ireland, the UK and France, and on the internet, and they're now subject to the libel laws of these jurisdictions."

The legal papers filed on behalf of Ms Lopez in Belfast name the National Enquirer's New York-based publishers American Media Inc, along with distributors Eason and Son Ltd in Dublin and John Menzies Plc in Edinburgh.

National Enquirer spokesman Richard Valvo said the company had no comment to make.

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