Celebrity Defamation Cases

 

Winners

Kate Beckinsale v. Daily Express.  The Daily Express, a UK based newspaper, paid damages to Beckinsale in connection with an article claiming that Beckinsale had been passed over for a particular movie role.

Russell Brand v. The Sun.  The Sun, a UK newspaper, paid Russell Brand damages in connection with an article that claimed he cheated on his then-girlfriend Jemima Khan.

Carol Burnett v. National Enquirer.  Burnett awarded compensatory and punitive damages arising from the National Enquirer’s erroneous report that she had a loud argument with Henry Kissinger and was behaving in a boisterous manner in a restaurant. vectorstock_1350667

Tom Cruise v. Daily Express. Cruise and Nicole Kidman won their lawsuit challenging an article that claimed their marriage was a sham.

Tom Cruise v. Chad Slater. Default judgment entered in Cruise’s favor after Chad Slater admitted his claimed affair with Cruise was a lie.

Tom Cruise v. Michael David Sapir. Michael David Sapir retracted his claim to have a tape showing Cruise having sex with a man.

Cameron Diaz v. News Group Newspapers.  Diaz received damages from The Sun, a U.K.-based newspaper.  The Sun reported that Diaz was cheating on her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, with a married man who had a one-year old daughter.  The Sun based its report on an earlier article published by the National Enquirer.

Diaz settled her case against the National Enquirer based on the same story.  The Enquirer paid damages and apologized.

Scarlett Johansson v. Gregoire Delacourt.  Johansson received an award of damages from a French author.  The actress claimed a character based on her had relationships she never had.  This case was filed in France.

Keira Knightley v. Daily Mail.  The Daily Mail, a UK-based newspaper, paid damages to Knightley in connection with an article which implied Knightley has anorexia.

J.K. Rowling v. Daily Mail.  The Daily Mail paid Rowling damages in connection with an article which inaccurately stated Rowling exaggerated her claims that she was stigmatized by her church as a single mother (prior to the publication of the Harry Potter books).

David Schwimmer v. Aaron Tonken.  Tonken, Schwimmer’s former publicist, paid damages to Schwimmer in connection with a statement that Schwimmer demanded Rolex watches to attend his own charity events.

Kate Winslet v. Daily Mail.  Winslet won damages from Daily Mail, a UK-based paper,  in connection with an article falsely claiming Winslet lied about her exercise regimen.

Losers

David Beckham v. In Touch Magazine.  Beckham lost his claim against the tabloid in connection with an article claiming he had an affair with a woman described as a former prostitute.  Beckham’s lawyers argued that a basic investigation would have revealed he was elsewhere during the time period the woman claimed he was with her.  The judge threw the case out because Beckham did not prove the magazine acted recklessly.  In Touch’s lawyers said the magazine tried to corroborate the woman’s report.  The 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal. Beckham’s lawyer noted that Beckham won a similar case in Germany.loser

 

Evel Knievel v. ESPN.  Knievel lost a defamation suit complaining about the caption to a photo stating “Evel Knievel proves that you’re never too old to be a pimp.”  The court concluded the reference to “pimp” was not meant to be interpreted literally.

Britney Spears v. US Weekly.  Judge dismissed a defamation casealleging that US Weekly’s report that Britney Spears made a sex tape with her then-husband, Kevin Federline, was defamatory.  The judge questioned whether a tape of a married couple having consensual sex was defamatory, particularly against the backdrop of Britney’s sexual persona.

Settled /  Without an Apology

Sharon Stone v. Renato Calabria (alleged he told Star Magazine and In Touch Magazine that she had a face lift).  The case settled.

Settled / With an Apology/Retraction

Cruise v. Bauer. Cruise challenged an article in Life & Style magazine claiming he “abandoned” his daughter, Suri. The case settled with Bauer Media (owner of Life & Style) stating that it did not intend to communicate that Cruise abandoned his daughter.

Katie Holmes v. Star Magazine. Holmes sued Star Magazine for defamation because of its headline “Katie Drug Shocker.” Star made a full apology for implying Katie Holmes had a drug problem.

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