Jane Ennis, editor of Now, is refusing to pay for ‘world exclusive’ pictures of Hollywood film star Nicole Kidman celebrating her divorce from Tom Cruise after the deal fell apart when the photographs were released to the nationals.
Ennis agreed a $20,000 (£14,000) fee with US picture agency X17 for first rights but its UK subsidiary, All Action, released the photos to the British press.
Alasdair Lyall, who is in charge of sales at All Action, said that he was unaware there was an exclusive deal with Now and issued the pictures to the nationals and celebrity magazines.
The pictures of Kidman showing her relief after her ‘quickie’ divorce from Cruise were splashed across the front of The Mirror and appeared in the Daily Mail and Daily Record just as Now was going onto the news-stands.
"We are talking to lawyers about the possibility of suing but we are still in discussions," Ennis told Press Gazette.
"In my experience these ‘mistakes’ always seem to be made when there is an exclusive set of pictures that the newspapers want. I don’t care how it came about, it still happened and I am not happy about it."
"One, it’s made me look a fool because the cover has ‘world exclusive’ written all over it and, two, I will probably lose sales because people will have bought the papers," she said.
Lyall stressed All Action was not "fly-by-night" and said the LA outfit was "exceptionally good".
"We don’t do sneakies. We are not happy with it because it puts us in an embarrassing situation," he said.
By Ruth addicott