OK! v Hello! reaches the Lords

OK! appeals against CA decision to strip it of £1m damages in wedding photos saga

The long-running dispute between the celebrity magazines OK! and Hello! over the publication of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones’ wedding photographs reaches the House of Lords today.


OK! Magazine is appealing the Court of Appeal’s ruling in May 2005 that “spoiler” photographs published in Hello! did not breach OK!‘s commercial rights to exclusive coverage of the celebrity wedding. OK! was ordered to pay back damages, costs and interest amounting to nearly £2m following Hello!‘s successful appeal.


Until reversed by the Court of Appeal, OK! had been awarded over £1m in damages after Hello! was found to have unlawfully profited from the exclusive rights to the Douglas & Zeta-Jones wedding in 2000.

Guests had been banned from taking pictures but an undercover photographer gained unauthorised access to the wedding and sold photographs to Hello!.

What looks like the final chapter in this ground-breaking case is missing its two stars however: Hello!‘s appeal against the damages awarded to Zeta Jones and Douglas was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.


Lord Nicholls, Lord Hoffman, Lord Walker, Baroness Hale and Lord Brown are hearing the appeal which is scheduled to last for 6 days.


5RB‘s James Price QC is leading counsel for Hello! (instructed by M Law).