Tabloids and paparazzi often expose dirty celebrity secrets, but some A-listers fight back, especially when complete fabrications end up on the covers of publications with millions of readers. Find out which celebrities managed to get a payoff in court or settled early.
Here are the celebrities who sued the media, and mostly won, either with a victory in court or with an undisclosed settlement.
Many major celebrities sued News Corp. in wake of the phone hacking scandal that involved British tabloid “The Sun”. Hugh Grant also sued the media company for tapping into his phone and publishing information obtained illegally. He settled along with 143 other cases in the same day for an undisclosed amount. Other celebrities who sued the media in the same scandal, like singer Charlotte Church, settled for more than half a million pounds.
One of the stars who had less success in court and didn’t manage to get a settlement, Britney Spears tried to sue “Us Weekly” in 2006. The publication claimed that the singer and husband Kevin Federline had recorded a sex tape. Spears couldn’t prove in court that the claim managed to affect her reputation, even if it was false, since the judge ruled that her image was already very sexual.
One of the celebrities who sued the media and won, British actress Kate Winslet, got $40,000 from “The Daily Mail”, after an article published in the tabloid claimed that she hadn’t been truthful in an interview with Elle magazine about her workout routine. She was also called “the most irritating actress” by the publication that ended up paying the actress significant damages.
Some claims made by tabloids can have a significant impact on the lives of celebrities. Reese Witherspoon got punitive damages in court after “Star” magazine claimed that the actress was pregnant with her third child in 2007.
The story suggested that Reese was hiding her pregnancy, which implied that she was lying to producers and casting agents. The actress did have another son 5 years later, after she divorced Ryan Phillipe and married Jim Toth.
Many celebrities who sued the media asked for a lot of money in order to settle for much less. Katie Holmes asked for $50 million when Star claimed she was addicted to drugs. The actress settled for an undisclosed amount, an apology and a donation to a nonprofit foundation.
Most stars target tabloids, but Prince has sued his own fans countless times. After going for a fan publication in 1999, Prince dropped the suit, but he kept threatening to sue many fan sites who published pictures of him without his approval.
In 2012, once his divorced was announced, Tom Cruise used the same strategy as his wife and sued the Bauer Media Group, owner of “Life & Style” for $50 million. The magazine claimed that he had abandoned his daughter. After settling out of court, like most celebrities who sued the media, Cruise also got a public apology.
Going after an Australian tabloid, Katy Perry sued when NW Magazine published a story suggesting that she was having an affair with producer Benny Blanco. The singer had just married Russel Brand and sued in 2011. A year later, she got an undisclosed settlement, apparently in the six figures range.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Many celebrities who sued the media proved in time that the reports about them were fabrications. Angelina and Brad are still together, despite the many reports of a breakup.
They actually sued British tabloid “News of the World” in 2010, for claiming they were already deciding custody details and splitting assets.
See also: Shortest Celebrity Marriages
In 2005, Ashley Olsen sued “The National Enquirer” asking for damages adding to a total of $40 million, after the tabloid claimed that she was “drugged” and published pictures that allegedly proved it.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Another drug scandal, Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony, also joined the list celebrities who sued the media, with a lawsuit against “The National Enquirer” in 2006. The publication claimed they were involved in a “heroin scandal”.
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