Singer and fashion designer Victoria Beckham is demanding damages of more than £300,000 from Now magazine after claiming her privacy has been invaded.
Beckham is suing over stories published in the title, owned by IPC Media, which she said claimed she was addicted to sex and slimming pills.
Although she admitted some of the allegations about her were true, she said the story breached her expectation of privacy and should have remained confidential.
The stories, headed: “Desperate Posh hooked on sex and slimming pills” and “Posh hooked on sex and diet pills”, appeared in the celebrity and gossip magazine in August.
The mother of three, who describes herself as a singer and fashion designer, said the stories contained information about her private life including details of her emotional and psychological reaction to her past failure to conceive.
She claimed the articles also mentioned her plans for the future including possible fertility treatment or adoption, an account of her trip to the Portland Hospital where she was seen by medical specialists, details of the diagnosis about her fertility, and the steps she has taken over her failure to conceive.
Beckham said the magazine also claimed she had taken a four-month course of strong herbal medication to boost her libido, had become addicted to the medication, detailed communications between her, her family, and sister Louise over her failure to conceive, what to do about it, and her future plans.
In her writ, she said the magazine also detailed her relationship with Louise and Louise’s children, and surreptitious methods she used to ensure she could procure personal items without anyone else finding out.
Much of the information was false, she said. But she said the truth or falsity of the information is irrelevant, and so she will not distinguish between it.
Beckham said some of the information had clearly come from one of the parties to a confidential medical relationship, and from one of the parties to confidential communications between her and her family.
Publication of the information was an unjustified infringement of her right to privacy and a misuse of her private information, she claimed.
High Court documents also said the publication was not capable of contributing to a debate in a democratic society relating to matters of public interest.
The information was entirely personal and private, and was published in a sensational manner to titillate readers, the writ said.
Beckham added that the stories left her distressed and embarrassed, and that she suffered hurt feelings and loss of dignity.
She is also suing publishers IPC Media for aggravated damages, saying the magazine had failed to remove this story and four similar stories from its website despite a letter of claim sent in August.
According to the writ, she said she was entitled to aggravated damages because of the magazine’s inflammatory, offensive and provocative tone in its response, in which it rejected her claim out of hand, and falsely denied it had published three of the four additional stories.