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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Knightley wins weight libel claim
Keira Knightley
Ms Knightley was not in court to hear the settlement
Actress Keira Knightley has accepted 3,000 High Court libel damages over a newspaper article about her weight.

The Daily Mail published a photograph of the 22-year-old on a beach, with remarks about her weight in an article about a girl who had died of anorexia.

Ms Knightley's solicitor said "deeply offensive" suggestions could imply she had an eating disorder and bore responsibility for the girl's death.

The damages will be donated to eating disorder charity Beat.

Ms Knightley, whose Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End opens in cinemas this week, was filming in Wales and could not be at London's High Court for the settlement.

The defendant accepts that [Ms Knightly] does not bear responsibility for Sophie's death, does not have an eating disorder, and has not misled the public
Kate Wilson, solicitor

Her mother, playwright Sharman Macdonald, and partner, actor Rupert Friend, were there to hear solicitor Simon Smith tell Mr Justice Eady that the suggestions in the January 2007 story were "entirely false".

The story, headed "If pictures like this one of Keira carried a health warning, my darling daughter might have lived", was published on 11 January 2007.

It was accompanied by a photograph of the actress wearing a bikini on holiday.

Mr Smith said that the article could be interpreted to suggest Ms Knightley bore personal responsibility for causing the death of 19-year-old Sophie Mazurek, and that she had set out to lose an excessive amount of weight by not eating properly.

It could further have been interpreted that she had developed an eating disorder, and been motivated to do this to satisfy the desire in the fashion and film industries for an impossibly stick-thin look.

Mr Smith said that, three days before the article appeared, the newspaper had published a story - "It's itsy bitsy teeny weeny Keira Knightley" - in which it referred to her emphatic denial that she suffered from anorexia.

As a result, he added, the later article suggested that she had dishonestly set out to mislead the public about her eating disorder and by claiming falsely that she did not suffer from anorexia.

Healthy eating

He went on to say that Ms Knightley had - through her lawyers - offered her sincere sympathies to Sophie's mother and family for their loss.

Mr Smith said that Ms Knightley accepted that she had from time to time exercised for roles in action films which did alter physical appearance.

But he added that her weight had never fluctuated more than a few pounds throughout her adult life, and she continued to eat healthily and maintain a regular fitness regime.

Kate Wilson, counsel for Associated Newspapers, which has also agreed to reimburse Ms Knightley's costs, offered its apologies.

"The defendant accepts that the claimant does not bear responsibility for Sophie's death, does not have an eating disorder, and has not misled the public."

Ms Knightley will match the 3,000 damages before giving the money to charity.

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