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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 22:25 GMT
Supermodel wins privacy case
Naomi Campbell at the 20th Annual American Fashion Awards, at Lincoln Center in New York
Campbell: "Shocked, angry, betrayed and violated"
The Mirror has been ordered to pay 3,500 damages to Naomi Campbell for publishing pictures of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

High Court judge Mr Justice Morland ruled that the supermodel's confidentiality had been breached.

He said the newspaper had been right to show Miss Campbell misled the public by denying she was a drug addict, but that it had gone too far in publishing details of therapy that "bore the badge of confidentiality".

Mirror editor Piers Morgan outside the High Court
Piers Morgan: "She has not even got enough to pull back the bed clothes"
Mr Morland also criticised the model, saying that she had not been honest with the press over the years, and had lied to him on oath during the case.

Outside the court, Mirror editor Piers Morgan said Miss Campbell had won on a technicality, claiming her "derisory" damages showed the judge had been sympathetic to the newspaper.

Miss Campbell said she was "happy" with the verdict and told ITV News she had felt "raped" by the Mirror, which was also ordered to pay the estimated 200,000 costs.

'Racist'

Of the 3,500 damages, 1,000 was for calling the supermodel a "chocolate soldier" in an article about her anti-fur campaigning.

Mr Morland said: "I can well understand that Miss Campbell found the phrase hurtful and considered it racist."


Celebrities... are entitled to some space of privacy

Mr Justice Morland
The newspaper claimed the phrase was a "commonplace simile" referring to her ineffective stance on fur.

Outside court Mr Morgan said the judgement was not a victory for Ms Campbell.

He said: "One of her colleagues said supermodels did not get out of bed for less than 10,000 - she has not even got enough to pull back the bed clothes," Mr Morgan said.

He added that the paper, which was refused permission to appeal the ruling, would consider applying direct to the Court of Appeal.

'Betrayed'

The Streatham-born supermodel took Mirror owners MGN Ltd to court after a photograph was published of her leaving the Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Chelsea's King's Road in February.

She said she felt "shocked, angry, betrayed and violated" by the story and the accompanying pictures.

Mr Justice Morland said Miss Campbell was entitled to 2,500 damages for breach of confidentiality because details about her therapy were "sensitive personal data".


You can satisfy the public interest by telling of the fact - but you do not have to give the intimate details

Media lawyer Mark Stephens

But he said the model had told "deliberate lies" when she had said she had been rushed to a hospital in Gran Canaria because of an allergic reaction to penicillin and not because of a drug overdose, he said.

Miss Campbell was in Los Angeles and did not attend the High Court in London to hear the ruling.

Her lawyer, Keith Schilling, said the model was "delighted" and would be donating the damages to charity.

He hailed the ruling as a landmark decision offering protection for their private lives to people in the public eye.

But media lawyers said they did not think the surprise ruling was a step towards a UK privacy law.

'Media manipulation'

Mark Stephens, of Finers Stephens Innocent, said it was merely "a slight straining and extension of the law of confidence".

"The court's ruling is that you can satisfy the public interest by telling of the fact - but you do not have to give the intimate details," he said.

In court, the paper argued the story was justified because the model had been "guilty of serious criminal behaviour" by abusing drugs.

She had lied "on a grandiose scale" by claiming in interviews in Britain, France and the United States that she never took drugs, the Mirror said.

It questioned whether celebrities should be allowed to manipulate their public image in the media, "and then go to court seeking damages when the truth is told".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Emma Simpson
"A victory, but at what personal cost"
'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:

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