Pitt & Jolie win ‘false privacy’ case

News of the World agrees to apologise and pay damages

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have accepted an undisclosed sum of damages in settlement of their privacy claim against the News of the World.

The couple sued the newspaper over two stories published in January which falsely alleged that they were about to separate, had visited a divorce lawyer, and had concluded agreements concerning the division of their assets and the custody of their children.  Their claims were for misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

The newspaper had already admitted liability earlier in the year, but in a unilateral statement read today, the High Court was told that News Group Newspapers now accepted the allegations were “false and intrusive”.

The claimants’ solicitor, Keith Schilling, told the Court that the News of the World, which had argued that it acted in good faith in publishing the stories, had now agreed to publish an apology.

Mr Schilling also said that the newspaper had agreed to pay the claimants’ costs and damages, which they intended to donate to their charity, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

A full copy of the statement in open court can be read by clicking on the pdf icon at the foot of the page.

5RB‘s Godwin Busuttil, instructed by Schillings, acted for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Justin Rushbrooke having advised them prior to the issue of proceedings), while Adam Wolanski, instructed by Farrer & Co, represented News Group Newspapers.