Watch What You Write: Celebs Who Filed Lawsuits Against Tabloids
Most celebrities are used to filling up the pages of tabloids and magazines but when false statements are published these celebrities are quick to sue to clear their name.
Tom Cruise has no problems suing a publication if he feels they’ve printed lies or fabricated truths. In 2012, the “Mission Impossible” star sued “In Touch” and “Life & Style” magazines, both run by the same publisher, for reporting that he had cut all ties off with his daughter Suri following his divorce from wife Katie Holmes. Cruise filed a $50 million lawsuit and both sides reached an agreement late last year. The tabloids took back the story and the terms of the settlement were confidential.
They’re divorced now but Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise have something in common. Holmes filed a $50 million lawsuit of her own against “Star” magazine after they published a not too flattering story about her. The publication alleged that the “Dawson’s Creek” star was too addicted to drugs to leave her then-hubby Cruise. “Star Magazine” ended up issuing a public apology to Holmes for their story. The tabloid also promised to make a substantial donation to a charity of Holmes’ choice.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be one of Hollywood’s most powerful couple but to hear “News of the World” tell it, the couple was headed for splitsville. The tabloid reported that the “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-stars had met up with divorce lawyers and even divvied up their shared assets. Brangelina retaliated by filing a lawsuit. They ended up settling with the rag and the proceeds were donated to their favorite charity, The Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Brangelina wasn’t the only couple that has sued a publication. In 2007, “The National Inquirer” reported that Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez were caught up in a heroin scandal. The publication ran an article in the European edition with a photo of Anthony hanging out with Michael Star, who was charged with heroin possession and child pornography. Lopez and Anthony were seeking a six-figure settlement, a retraction and an apology in both the British and U.S. editions of the rag. The case was settled out of court.
After playing Lisa Turtle on the hit sitcom “Saved By The Bell,” Lark Voorhies had picked up roles here and there but in 2006, she alleged that “The National Enquirer” had hindered her from finding work. That’s because the tabloid ran a story accusing Voorhies of having a drug problem. The article quoted a friend saying the star had a terrible drug problem and she was also bipolar. Voorhies said the article had a negative affect on her livelihood. However, Voorhies later withdrew the lawsuit.
Pop diva Britney Spears had a wholesome image as a Disney kid until she reinvented herself as a sexy singer. That reinvention ended up working against her when it came to a lawsuit. Back in 2006 when Spears was married to hubby Kevin Federline, “Us Weekly” published a rumor that the couple made a sex tape. The “Oops I Did It Again” singer sued the publication. But a judge threw the lawsuit out saying the story wouldn’t defame Spears because of her already highly sexualized image.
Actress Cameron Diaz has dated quite a few celebrity men but she thought she found true love with singer Justin Timberlake. That’s probably why she was so upset when the “National Inquirer” reported that she was cheating on the “Sexy Back” singer early on in their relationship. The tabloid published a photo of the “Bad Teacher” star and her reality show producer outside of a studio in L.A. and accused Diaz of two-timing. Diaz and the producer sued for $10 million and two years after the initial filing, they were awarded an undisclosed amount of money.
Carol Burnett has been a trailblazer in the world of comedy for women and she is also one of the first celebrities to have sued a publication and won. Back in 1976, “The National Enquirer” reported that the comedian was beyond drunk during a dinner with then Secretary of State Henry Kissenger. Burnett sued for libel and five years later a Los Angeles jury found the tabloid guilty and ordered the Florida publication to fork over $1.6 million in damages.
You can call Elizabeth Taylor a multiple divorcee but you cannot say she’s a heavy drinker with a disfiguring disease. That’s exactly what “The National Inquirer” printed about the “Cleopatra” star. In 1990, Taylor filed a $20 million lawsuit against the rag for libel. The publication ran with the story that Taylor was drinking while hospitalized with lupus but the truth was Taylor was seeking medical treatment for a nasty bout with pneumonia. The case was settled out of court and “The National Enquirer” offered up an apology and an undisclosed amount of money.
Some men do not like being labeled gay when they’re not and Tom Selleck is definitely one of them. Back in the early 90’s, the “Blue Blood” star sued the “Globe” after the publication ran a story outing Selleck as a homosexual. Selleck filed a $20 million lawsuit for libel and invasion of privacy. This wasn’t the first time Selleck has sued a magazine. Several years before that he sued “The National Inquirer” for $36 million for reporting a false story that he was carrying on a romance with actress Victoria Principal. Both cases were settled out of court.
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe were married for more than seven years before they announced that they were separating in 2006. That same year, “Star Magazine” ran a story that the “Sweet Home Alabama” star was pregnant with her third child but wasn’t being honest with film producers because she was hiding her stomach in baggy clothing. Witherspoon filed a lawsuit against the tabloid for invasion of privacy. The case was settled out of court and Witherspoon did in fact give birth to her third child. But it was six years after “Star Magazine” ran that story.
If you publish some photos of Demi Moore, she just may sue you. The “G.I. Jane” star sued Australian publication “New Idea” in 2006 after they published photo-booth style pictures of the actress. Moore alleged that they had no right to publish them because she had paid for the photos and therefore owned them. A judge agreed with her and the magazine settled with the star out of court.
Most people that know of David Beckham are aware that the soccer player has been married to former Spice Girl Victoria for years. That’s probably why “In Touch” magazine was so eager to run a salacious report about Beckham hiring a prostitute to sleep with him back in 2010. The international athlete filed a lawsuit but the publication countered that they ran the item after the call girl came to them with her story. The case was thrown out because the publication thought the woman was telling the truth at the time. Beckham appealed the decision but he lost yet again.