Schillings sets legal precedent with Kate Winslet libel win
Schillings, has set a new precedent in Offer of Amends following Kate Winslet’s successful libel action against the Daily Mail in response to an article which falsely alleged that Miss Winslet had publicly lied about her exercise regime.
On 30 January 2009, the Daily Mail published an article with the headline “Should Kate Winslet win an Oscar for the World’s most irritating actress?”, The article was published just three weeks before the famous Academy Awards 2009 Oscar evening. The article contained a defamatory and untrue allegation that Miss Winslet had publicly lied about her exercise regime.
In order to protect her reputation and defend her own integrity surrounding body/weight issues Miss Winslet took legal action by issuing libel proceedings against Associated Newspapers, the publishers of the Daily Mail.
In response to those proceedings, the Daily Mail accepted that the allegation it made was completely false and that it had no defence to the subsequent legal proceedings brought by Miss Winslet. In addition to agreeing to print an apology The Daily Mail also agreed to pay substantial damages of £25,000 to Miss Winslet and to pay her legal costs.
In apologising the Daily Mail stated “We accept that Miss Winslet was not being duplicitous in making her comments or seeking to deliberately mislead about her exercise regime. We apologise for any distress caused”.
This decision clarifies that in Offer of Amends situations, claimants, in this instance Miss Winslet, have the right to appropriate vindication through the process of a Statement in Open Court.
A spokesperson for Schillings, the lawyers representing Miss Winslet, read out the Statement in Open Court.
Schillings commented: "Miss Winslet has frequently asserted the right of women to accept the way they look and by accusing her of trying to mislead the public, the Daily Mail caused her a great deal of distress. It was simply not true.
“We are pleased we have been able to achieve this result for Miss Winslet, a result which will continue to benefit clients bringing libel proceedings in the future.”
Miss Winslet said: “I am delighted that the Mail have apologised for making false allegations about me. I was particularly upset to be accused of lying about my exercise regime and felt that I had a responsibility to request an apology in order to demonstrate my commitment to the views that I have always expressed about body issues, including diet and exercise. I strongly believe that women should be encouraged to accept themselves as they are, so to suggest that I was lying was an unacceptable accusation of hypocrisy.”
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Notes to editors
Claim number: HQ09X01191
A copy of the Statement in Open Court is available from the Schillings website
About Schillings, solicitors to Kate Winslet:
Schillings is one of Britain’s top law firms dedicated to the reputation protection of international corporations, brands, celebrities and high-profile business people. The firm’s track-record in defamation, privacy and copyright cases, as well as commercial dispute resolution is second to none.
Defamation privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm’s work, prompting The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a “spectacularly efficient media law firm.”
Schillings clients include the recording artist Madonna, supermodel Naomi Campbell, seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods Group and the London Stock Exchange.
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