Monday, February 19, 2007
Cameron Diaz, who sued in the British courts over that National Enquirer story that she kissed the married Shane Nickerson in an improper way, has gotten "substantial" damages from the paper's parent company, American Media, in an undisclosed out of court settlement just as the trial opened. The original story ran on the website, and since the paper removed it after Ms. Diaz objected, her attorney had to establish that enough British readers had seen it to allow the British courts to take jurisdiction. The paper's attorney apologized for the story. Read more about the case here in the Guardian and here in the Press-Gazette. On the issue of defamation via website publication in the UK see Dow Jones v. Jameel (decided 2005) "At the end of the day the trial will determine whether the publications made to the five subscribers were protected by qualified privilege. If they were not, it does not seem to us that the jury can properly be directed to award other than very modest damages indeed. These should reflect the fact that the publications can have done minimal damage to the claimant's reputation. Certainly this will be the case if the three subscribers who were in the claimant's camp prove to have accessed the Golden Chain list in the knowledge of what they would find on it and the other two had never heard of the claimant"(requiring that the plaintiff establish a minimum standard of publication--hearers--in order to proceed with the case).