LONDON: Actress Cameron Diaz won a libel she filed against British newspaper the Sun for an article contending she had a “romantic relationship with a TV producer, Shane Nickerson. The star, whose roles in “Charlie’s Angels” and “Shrek” are legion, got an apology and an undisclosed sum as damages.
The Sun article said Cameron, 32, who is dating singer Justin Timberlake, and Nickerson, who is married and has a daughter, “enjoyed more than just a professional relationship”. Cameron sued the newspaper accusing its article is without any substance and it had damaged her reputation.
Cameron’s lawyer Simon Smith told libel judge David Eady that the paper in its article on 12 May 2005 said Cameron was seen along with Nickerson stopping behind bushes in Santa Monica, California.
The newspaper, said Smith, has subsequently conducted investigations and has found that its report is baseless. It now accepts that the relevant incident “involved no more than Ms Diaz giving a friend a goodbye hug and any suggestion of a romantic involvement is entirely untrue and without any substance whatsoever”. It has apologized to the star and admitted the allegations were unfounded and should not have been published. It has also agreed to publish a “prominent” apology.
Smith said the article had damaged his client’s personal and professional reputation and had caused distress to her, Timberlake, Nickerson and his wife. The paper had agreed to pay the actor “substantial, undisclosed damages and to reimburse in full the legal costs incurred by her in pursuing this matter.
“In those circumstances and in light of this vindication my client is prepared not to proceed any further against The Sun newspaper.” The paper said the article was based on a previous report in the National Enquirer magazine of the U.S.
Smith said the settlement did not concern National Enquirer and the proceedings against this publication will continue.
In a separate case, John Rutter, a photographer, who had taken pictures of a topless Cameron before she became a star, and attempted to sell them back to her for $3.5 million, was found by a U,S. court as attempting to blackmail her and was convicted on Monday last.