Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Madonna demands 5m photo damages

Madonna
Madonna's 2000 wedding was a "wholly private" event, the court heard

Singer Madonna is seeking more than 5m in damages from the Mail on Sunday for publishing photos of her 2000 wedding to film director Guy Ritchie.

A judge in London heard pictures of the event were copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at her home in Beverly Hills, California.

The Mail on Sunday published 11 photos of the event on 19 October this year.

The judge found in Madonna's favour after the newspaper admitted breach of privacy and copyright.

According to Madonna's barrister Matthew Nicklin, the Mail on Sunday "makes no attempt to defend what it did".

The paper paid 5,000 for the images of the "wholly private" event, held on 22 December 2000 at Skibo Castle in Scotland.

'Ambushed'

Mr Nicklin said the singer was effectively "ambushed", having been given no prior warning that the paper was intending to publish the photographs.

"If the Mail on Sunday had told her what they intended to do, the claimant would have sought and obtained an injunction."

Madonna, who was divorced from Guy Ritchie earlier this year, is seeking "in excess of 5 million, being the estimated value of the photographs".

Mr Justice Eady has entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability.

A Mail on Sunday spokesman said: "These photographs were taken eight years ago, and at the time we published them copyright was not owned by Madonna.

"Their true commercial value today is indicated by the very modest sum we and other publications paid for them. The figure suggested by Madonna's lawyers is simply fantasy."

Further proceedings to assess the damages are expected to be heard at the High Court next year.



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