Schillings win apology and substantial damages for Madonna from The Mail on Sunday

From: Schillings
Published: Tue Oct 06 2009

Madonna, represented by Schillings law firm, has won her privacy legal action against The Mail on Sunday at the High Court in London, following their unlawful publication of private photographs of her wedding. The Mail on Sunday has publicly apologised to Madonna and agreed to pay her substantial damages.

On 19 October 2008, The Mail on Sunday published Madonna's private wedding photographs with no authorization, on its front page with the words: "World Exclusive Never Before Seen Pictures of Madonna and Guy's Wedding. Full Story and Pictures Pages 14-17", just 3 days after Madonna had announced she was divorcing. Further photographs were published in a double page spread inside the newspaper with the words "World Exclusive Pictures". In total 10 photographs of Madonna's wedding were published. The Mail on Sunday article also stated that Madonna's wedding was "The Celebrity Event of the Year though no photographers were allowed in, and until today no pictures have ever been published."

Madonna's lawyer, John Kelly of Schillings, told the London High Court:

"The Mail on Sunday did not provide Madonna with any warning that it intended to publish her private wedding photographs. Had it done so, she would have sought and obtained an injunction preventing publication of the wedding photographs to prevent her privacy from being invaded."

Associated Newspapers Limited, the publishers of The Mail on Sunday, has admitted liability for breaching Madonna's privacy and copyright infringement, has consented to judgment being entered against it and has destroyed all copies of the infringing photographs in its possession.

Associated Newspapers accepts, "that it was wrong to act in this way" and has offered "its sincere apologies to Madonna and her family for invading her privacy and infringing her copyright by publishing her wedding photographs without her consent".

Mr Kelly told Mr Justice Peter Smith, "Associated Newspapers is here to publicly apologise to Madonna", and, "As a mark of its regret, Associated Newspapers has also agreed to publish an apology in the Mail on Sunday and to pay Madonna substantial damages as well as her legal costs."

A spokeswoman for Madonna said: "Madonna intends to donate the damages to her charity Raising Malawi whose aim is to bring an end to the extreme poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's two million orphans and vulnerable children."

- END -

Notes to Editors:
Raising Malawi is a charitable foundation co founded by Madonna which provides immediate direct physical assistance, creates long-term sustainability, education and psycho-social programs for the two million orphans affected by Aids in Malawi.

About Schillings:
Schillings is one of Britain's top law firms dedicated to safeguarding the reputations of international corporations, brands, celebrities and high-profile business people. The firm's track-record in defamation, privacy and copyright cases, as well as commercial dispute resolution is second to none.

Defamation, privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm's work, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a "spectacularly efficient media law firm."

Schillings clients include the recording artist Madonna, supermodel Naomi Campbell, seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods Group and the London Stock Exchange.

Schillings PR contact:
Christopher Mills
Business Director
41 Bedford Square
Company: Schillings
Contact Name: Christopher Mills
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: +44 (0)20 7034 9132

Visit website »