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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 13:40 GMT
Supermodel attends privacy appeal
Naomi Campbell after leaving the House of Lords
Campbell steps into a waiting car after her Lords appearance
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has made a surprise appearance at the House of Lords appeal in her privacy case against the Daily Mirror newspaper.

She sat behind her legal team as they argued there was a breach of confidence when it published a photo and story about her drug addiction.

Her battle with the paper began with a ruling in her favour at the High Court.

But the Court of Appeal overturned that ruling, stripping her of 3,500 damages and ordering her to pay legal costs.

Narcotics Anonymous

Five Law Lords are hearing the appeal, which is expected to last two days.

At the heart of the case is the Daily Mirror's publication of a photo and story about her receiving help at Narcotics Anonymous.

Mr Justice Morland ruled in the High Court in 2002 that publishing details of her treatment not only breached confidentiality but was also a breach of the Data Protection Act.

Later the same year the Court of Appeal overturned that decision, ruling that publication of the details was in the public interest.

Apart from being stripped of damages, she had to pay the Mirror's 350,000 legal costs.

One of the key factors in the case was the finding in the High Court that Miss Campbell had lied when she denied that she was addicted to drugs.

The appeal judges ruled that the report and photographs were "a legitimate, if not essential, part of... demonstrating that Ms Campbell had been deceiving the public when she said that she did not take drugs".

Law of confidence

Outlining Ms Campbell's case to the five law lords on Wednesday, Andrew Caldecott QC quoted from previous cases that he claimed had established a development of the existing laws of confidence, which amounted to "a notion of privacy in a general sense".

Mr Caldecott said the law of confidence - which protects ideas and actions communicated in confidence - had the flexibility required to protect privacy.

He said the court also had to consider how the laws governing freedom of expression had to be balanced with rights to privacy.

Individuals not only had a right to decide what personal information should be kept private or made public, he said, but also to maintain privacy of information, which was essential to promote personal development and foster self-esteem.

Mr Caldecott said privacy was not a new concept in law and referred to the words of Lord Justice Sedley at the Court of Appeal: "It can be said with confidence that the law recognises, and will appropriately protect, a right of personal privacy."

Lord Justice Sedley's statement was made in the early stage of the marathon legal battle between actress Catherine Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas against Hello! magazine which published unauthorised pictures of their private wedding in New York in 2000.

The BBC's Kim Barnes
"Legal experts hope the case will lead to clarification"

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26 Feb 03  |  UK News
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14 Oct 02  |  UK News
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27 Mar 02  |  UK News


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