'Mail' pays damages to Kidman over Law affair claim

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The Independent Online

Nicole Kidman won "substantial" libel damages and an apology from the Daily Mail yesterday over claims that she had an affair with the British actor Jude Law.

The 35-year-old actress was accused of leading Law to cheat on his wife and then dishonestly denying they had had a sexual relationship.

The allegations related to last summer when Law, 31, and Kidman were in eastern Europe filming Cold Mountain, an American civil war epic, the High Court heard.

Shortly before the claims were published on 6 March this year, Law moved out of the north London home he shared with his wife, the actress Sadie Frost, and their three children.

Mr Justice Gray heard that the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, and the journalist who wrote the story accepted the claims were "untrue and without foundation".

Gideon Benaim, Kidman's solicitor, said: "The publication of this article has caused grave damage to the claimant's personal and professional reputation, and she has suffered considerable embarrassment and distress."

The allegations came days before the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, where Kidman won the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours. She also won Golden Globe and Bafta awards for the same role.

The Daily Mail and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, have agreed to pay undisclosed damages and the Australian star's legal costs as part of the settlement.

Kidman issued legal proceedings against two other newspapers over similar allegations. The Sunday Telegraph apologised within a week but a case against The Sun is unresolved.

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