Fed-up actress leads fightback against media obsession with 'skinny' stars

The Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, daughter of Goldie Hawn, is taking legal action against five publications for publishing pictures of her accompanied by articles suggesting that she was suffering from an eating disorder, which she denies.

The 26-year-old star of Almost Famous and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is complaining about a set of photographs that were published in several high-profile newspapers and magazines in September and October.

The publications, including Heat, Closer, The National Enquirer, Star magazine and the Daily Mail have been given seven days to respond to the complaint, after which Ms Hudson has instructed the London law firm Schillings to issue writs against them. If the case is not settled, it is expected to go to jury trial at the High Court in London next year. Schillings said the images were "used to accompany and illustrate articles which suggested that she had an eating disorder that was so grave and serious that she was wasting away to the extreme concern of her mother and family".

The law firm added that the pictures could also be "of commercial and artistic concern to those who might cast her in movies and choose to use her image to endorse products".

Ms Hudson will argue in court that "the images in question gave a seriously false and misleading impression as to her true physical condition, in that she was portrayed as being dangerously thin with an eating disorder, which is contrary to the true position of her weight and diet being of a healthy nature, both at the time of the images being taken and at present".

An analysis of how the photographs came to be taken, sold and published will form part of the case. Schillings will argue that the main image in question was stretched, making Ms Hudson appear thinner than she really is, although there is no suggestion that the photograph was altered deliberately.

The coverage of Ms Hudson is far from unique. Splashed across the cover of the latest issue of Heat are "truly shocking skinny pics" of Kate Lawler, the winner of the third series of Big Brother, in which her ribcage can be seen prominently. "BB star is a walking skeleton," the magazine proclaimed.

Last month, Heat featured pictures of a thin-looking Claudia Schiffer and Sophie Dahl on its cover, asking: "Are these models starving themselves?"

It is a long-running theme for the magazine, which earlier this year published a definitive list of "20 skinniest celebrities". Nicole Kidman, Victoria Beckham, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Terri Hatcher, Lindsay Lohan and Nicky Hilton have all been pilloried for their super-thin figures.

Janice Turner, former editor of Real magazine, believes celebrity titles are targeting skinny women because it is no longer acceptable to criticise someone for being overweight.

She said: "They used to say so and so was a bit fat. They've realised it's against the spirit of trying to overcome eating disorders, but they can say someone is thin. Readers love looking at other women's bodies and comparing their own bodies to celebrities' bodies.

"It's quite pleasing to see how unattractive it looks in reality when somebody is that thin. Readers will think, 'I'll have that other Twix bar, it doesn't matter.'"

But Ms Turner also believes that Heat and its rivals are lifting the lid on a dangerous trend that requires actresses to remain stick thin. "There is a demand for celebrities to be very thin if the camera puts 10 pounds on. There's something really nasty going on in Hollywood," she said.

Mark Frith, the editor of Heat magazine, said he could not comment on an ongoing legal matter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Graduate Sales Executive

17.5k + Commission (£18.5k after probation period): ESI Media: You will be res...

PPC Account Managers

£25k - £30k (DOE): Guru Careers: Two expert PPC Account Managers are needed to...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn