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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 17:48 GMT
Supermodel wins privacy case
Naomi Campbell
Ms Campbell gave evidence during the case
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has won her privacy action against the Mirror newspaper.

She has been awarded 3,500, a relatively small amount of damages, and the newspaper has been ordered to pay her costs.

The Streatham-born model took Mirror owners MGN Ltd to court after the newspaper published a photograph of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting.


The information clearly bore the badge of confidentiality

Mr Justice Morland
The judge, Mr Justice Morland, indicated he was sympathetic to the model's claim that the Mirror targeted her after the picture was initially published and 1,000 of the damages reflected that.

But he said Miss Campbell "has shown herself to be over the years lacking in frankness and veracity with the media and manipulative and selective in what she has chosen to reveal about herself ".

He added that he was "satisfied she had lied on oath" when claiming that she had been rushed to a hospital in Gran Canaria because of an allergic reaction to penicillin and not because of a drug overdose.

Miss Campbell, 31, did not attend the High Court in London to hear the ruling.

Her lawyer Keith Schilling said he had spoken to the model in Los Angeles and she was "delighted" and would be donating the damages to charity.

'Distress'

He hailed it as a landmark decision offering protection to people in the public eye.

But Mirror editor Piers Morgan called the judgement "complete nonsense".

The judge said the model had established she was entitled to damages for both breach of confidentiality and under the Data Protection Act.

He said her attendance at NA had the "necessary quality of confidence about them" and the story had caused her "significant distress".

The model made her claim after a photograph was published of her leaving the NA meeting in Chelsea's King's Road in February last year.

Privacy

She also claimed aggravated damages saying she felt "shocked, angry, betrayed and violated" by the story.

The paper, whose editor gave evidence, maintained it had taken a sympathetic approach to the model's problem.

In court MGN Ltd argued the model could not expect to receive the same level of privacy "as the normal man or woman in the street".

The judge said publishing the picture had breached confidentiality that Miss Campbell was entitled to by going to NA.

Mirror editor Piers Morgan
Mirror editor Piers Morgan said Ms Campbell courted publicity
"The information clearly bore the badge of confidentiality and when received by the defendants they, Mr Morgan and the Mirror journalists, were clothed in conscience with the duty of confidentiality," Mr Justice Morland said.

The Mirror editor called the judgement "complete nonsense" and said the model had won only on a technicality.

Mr Morgan said the "embarrassingly small sum of money" awarded to the model showed the judge agreed.

"One of her colleagues said supermodels did not get out of bed for less than 10,000 - she hasn't even got enough to pull back the bedclothes," he added.

The cost of the case has been estimated as 200,000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Emma Simpson
"The judge agreed the paper went too far"
'The Mirror' Editor Piers Morgan
"I think the whole thing is a complete joke"
Naomi Campbell's lawyer Keith Schilling
"Naomi is delighted with the outcome of the case"
See also:

12 Feb 02 | UK
Supermodel has 'no regrets'
02 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Naomi 'quits' top catwalks
27 Mar 02 | UK
Q&A: Naomi Campbell case
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