Ranks right up there with the "the heartbreak of psoriasis."

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OPTIONAL777, Feb 12, 2003.


    Cath tells of tears at sneak photos I felt violated and that something precious had been stolen from me MOAN I didn't want my husband shoving a fork down my throat photographed BLEAT £1m is a lot of money maybe to a lot of people in this room but not to us MOAN This is not about money, it's absolutely not.. it's about control

    By Adrian Shaw

    CATHERINE Zeta-Jones told yesterday how her dream wedding was ruined by a photographer who took sneak pictures of the private event.

    The 33-year-old actress said she broke down in tears and felt violated at discovering paparazzi snaps of her tying the knot with Michael Douglas had been sold to Hello! magazine.

    And the move scuppered a £1million deal the couple signed with the journal's bitter rivals, OK!

    Catherine complained the Hello! pictures were poor quality and made her look big, which could blight her image as an actress.

    She also told how she felt like the prey of snappers who act like "big game hunters" to track her down.

    Catherine was making her long-awaited appearance in the High Court witness box for her and Michael's £500,000 privacy action against Hello!

    The eight-month pregnant Chicago star told of the moment she found out about the rogue pictures, by photographer Rupert Thorpe - son of former Liberal leader Jeremy.

    She said: "I remember sitting on the phone crying about the way our memories of the wedding, which had seemed so wonderful, had soured.

    "The poor quality of the pictures was what any bride would hate to have. It was cheap and tacky and everything I didn't want to have shown as being part of my big day.

    "Michael and I were devastated. It was an appalling and very upsetting shock to discover that our wedding had been invaded in that way.

    "Our peace and happiness evaporated. I felt violated and that something precious has been stolen from me. Our distress and anger at what Hello! did continues to this day.

    "It was awful for me to have to think about this so soon after our beautiful wedding. I was suddenly thrown from the quiet, peace and joy of our time alone to anger and feelings of betrayal at Hello!

    THE security arrangements were designed to protect our privacy, to prevent unwanted people coming in, people seeking information about us.

    "It was done so we could feel comfortable enough to let our hair down and enjoy the wedding the way we wanted to enjoy it."

    Catherine, who had arrived at the High Court in London with Hollywood star Douglas, explained her motive for signing the deal with OK!

    She said: "The reason was to have some control after living in a world that is interested in what we do and how we live. I'm aware there are people around the world, it's not just a British thing, who are interested.

    "The intensity of people stealing and being voyeuristic at a private situation, that is something we will never be able to get back.

    "Both myself and my husband wanted to share the joy but that didn't entail bedroom shots in Hello!

    "This was going to be an overall look into us in a nice way so that we could show we were in love.

    "We wanted to show a little slice of that with our control and without it becoming a media circus and it being a competition to see who could get there first."

    But cross-examined by Hello! QC James Price, Catherine conceded the OK! spread showed the couple's wedding night bedroom, complete with petals strewn from the door to the canopy of the bed. She said: "I will withdraw that accusation".

    Hello! and OK! had been involved in a battle to secure the rights to the couple's November 2000 wedding at the Plaza hotel in New York. Thorpe breached tight security to take his pictures with a hidden camera.

    The couple claim Hello! chiefs plotted the covert photo session "to spite us" after losing out on the deal to OK!

    CATHERINE said she particularly objected to one Hello! picture which showed Michael putting a fork full of cake into her mouth.

    It was repeated in a tabloid newspaper under the headline Catherine Eater Jones.

    She added: "I wouldn't want a picture of my husband shoving food down my throat to be photographed. It looks as though all I did that day was eat."

    However, the court heard the couple agreed a syndication deal under which the OK! pictures could be published in 23 magazines in 21 countries and one, in America's People magazine, showed her feeding Douglas wedding cake.

    She said: "One was taken with our knowledge, the other was stolen. It has a hairy arm in the foreground and a flash covering the cake. One is legit. One is stolen."

    Asked to look at a copy of Hello! containing the photographs, she described one which featured her father - who "was a very proud man that night" - as "very offensive".

    Another looked as if it was "doused in bad disco lighting".

    Catherine denied the OK! deal had been motivated by money.

    There was laughter in court when Mr Price said the rights to his wedding were not sold for £1million. The actress replied: "I can understand." She went on: "I get well compensated in my job and my husband has had a long career and is successful. It is a lot of money to people in this room but it's not that much money for us."

    As she repeatedly told of the stress suffered, Mr Price asked if she was trying to "ginger things up" to try to get the damages increased.

    She said: "Absolutely not. This isn't about money. It is about the fact a very special, harmonious and relaxed time was spun out of control.

    "A gatecrasher came in and took photographs. I didn't know which pictures I would be looking forward to seeing. It's not about money.

    "Over the last few years, and particularly since my pregnancy, I have become increasingly concerned about photographs of Michael and me, and more recently of our son Dylan, at private moments finding their way into the media."

    On her claim one of the Hello! pictures made her look large, Catherine told how she had worked hard to regain her figure after the birth of Dylan. She added: "It was important for my career.

    "I put a lot of work in at the gym, which I loathe. It is all too easy for the film industry to conclude an actress is past her best."

    The star said she had been tormented by paparazzi since finding fame in 1991 on ITV comedy drama The Darling Buds of May.

    She said: "After one episode I became a recognisable celebrity and for the first time in my life people approached me in the street to ask for my autograph.

    "Initially, I was delighted, not realising how intrusive such attention would become.

    "However, this soon caused me increasing distress as I realised that whatever I was doing off-screen was considered far more important than what I was doing on it."

    SHE told how one photographer jumped out in front of her car and made her swerve into a lamppost. She then decided to flee to the USA.

    But Catherine added things didn't get much better there.

    When Dylan was a week old she was in a car with him in Los Angeles when it was rammed from behind.

    She got out to exchange details, but in the other car were journalists. Pictures of her looking furious later appeared in British publications.

    She said: "This incident made me very angry. Michael and I tend to think of the paparazzi as game hunters who view us as their game which they have to hunt down.

    "The photographs they take are their trophies. The amount of money that a photographer can make by selling pictures of us is enormous."

    She said photos of her lying semi-naked on top of Michael on a boat off Majorca were sold for £250,000.

    The actress, who grew up in Swansea, told how she first met Douglas at the Deauville film festival in 1998. They initially managed to keep their relationship secret.

    But long-lens pictures of them in Majorca soon appeared.

    Catherine said: "They showed us embracing. It was an intimate moment which the tabloid press had no compunction about publishing."

    However, Catherine conceded she did a deal with OK! for exclusive pictures of Dylan after his birth.

    She said: "We hoped that by providing some photographs of our child we could appease the public appetite for information about him and this would, in turn, reduce the bounty on the baby's head as regards illicitly-taken photographs."