Stars fail to block Hello!'s defence

Hollywood stars Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones have failed in a High Court bid to strike out the defence to their £2m damages claim over photographs snatched at their wedding.

Although he criticised the conduct of Hello! magazine, which published the pictures, judge Sir Andrew Morritt said that what had happened so far did not prevent a fair trial of the claim by the couple.

The case is scheduled to start next Monday, with both Douglas and Zeta-Jones planning to attend later on in the trial.

The couple had sold exclusive rights to their wedding pictures to Hello! rival OK!. Now they are seeking damages over use of the unauthorised pictures.

Striking out Hello!’s defence would have ended the case, but now, unless there is a settlement, it will go on.

Hello! claims it was entitled to publish the pictures.

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