Madonna claims £5m over wedding photos

Madonna is claiming more than £5 million damages over publication of private photographs of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie, it was revealed at the High Court today.

A judge in London heard that pictures of the "wholly private" event on December 22 2000 were copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at her home in Beverly Hills.

The star's barrister, Matthew Nicklin, told Mr Justice Eady that no photographs of the marriage had ever been published anywhere in the world until October 19 this year.

On that date the Mail on Sunday published 11 photographs over the front page and a double-page inside spread.

Madonna, who recently divorced Ritchie, was given no warning, said Mr Nicklin.

He said: "She was ambushed, for the simple reason that if the Mail on Sunday had told her what they intended to do, the claimant would have sought and obtained an injunction."

He said that after publication Madonna launched legal proceedings seeking damages "in excess of £5 million, being the estimated value of the photographs".

Mr Nicklin said the newspaper, which paid £5,000 for the photographs, "makes no attempt to defend what it did" and admitted breach of privacy and copyright.

The judge entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability today.

Further proceedings to assess the damages to be paid are expected to be heard at the High Court next year.

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