May 15, 2008
Hugh Grant victory deals paparazzi blow
Paparazzi photographers have been dealt a second blow in little over a week as the actor Hugh Grant wins damages for invasion of privacy while on holiday.
Grant (pictured) won a High Court settlement totalling £58,000 in a legal battle brought jointly with his former partner Liz Hurley and her husband Arun Nayar, according to Reuters news agency.
They took action against Big Pictures (UK) Ltd and France-based Eliot Press SARL over photos shot last year while the three claimants were on holiday at a private resort in the Maldives. The images were subsequently published in tabloid newspapers.
They claimed they had chosen the resort for the privacy and seclusion it offered.
Associated Newspapers and News Group Newspapers will also contribute to the compensation payout.
Speaking after the ruling Jonathan Coad, media lawyer at Swan Turton solicitors, told Amateur Photographer: 'These are very hard days for the paparazzi and companies like Big Pictures whose business model is coming under threat.' He added: 'The wind is blowing against them.'
Coad believes it is significant that the courts now pay larger amounts in such privacy cases - as opposed to a few thousand pounds - after taking into account the profits earned from the publication of such pictures.
The news comes just eight days after Harry Potter author JK Rowling won a Court of Appeal ruling that allows her to ban future publication of a paparazzi picture of her son David.