Kate Beckinsale accepts libel payout

The actress Kate Beckinsale accepted £20,000 libel damages from Express Newspapers yesterday over a claim that she had been passed over for her dream role as Barbarella.

Her solicitor, Graham Atkins, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court in London that the story in the Daily Express last month was entirely false and had caused considerable embarrassment and harm. He added that Beckinsale, 35, was never in discussions about the film role.

It followed that she had not been passed over in favour of Rose McGowan, as the story claimed. The newspaper has apologised.