Celebrities Vs. Tabloids: Who Are the Winners and Losers?

Will Katie Holmes Win Her Lawsuit Against Star Magazine?

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Katie Holmes is suing Star magazine for $50 million, claiming the magazine implied she cannot leave her husband Tom Cruise because she is addled by drugs, reports US Magazine. Since Holmes is a public figure, it will be much harder for her to win the lawsuit than if she were a common housewife named Katie Smith. Yet other A-list celebrities skewered by the tabloids and gossip magazines have successfully beat them. The hopping-mad Holmes could be the next big star to defeat Star or one of its gossipy cousins in court.

What other celebrities sued the tabloids and won?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie successfully sued the News of the World last year for a story published by the British tabloid which not only claimed the couple was splitsville, but had even divided their ample assets. The only problem was Brangelina had never even met with the divorce lawyers cited in the tabloid's article. The couple settled with the tabloid and donated their winnings to their favorite charity, The Jolie-Pitt Foundation, reports BBC News.

Pitt and Jolie had an advantage over Katie Holmes since it is easier to prove libel in Britain than the U.S., according to The Wrap. That's why Cameron Diaz sued the National Enquirer in England when the tabloid claimed she cheated on then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, even though the story only appeared in that country online.

Even with its more stringent standards, stars can still defeat the tabloids at home. In a landmark lawsuit 30 years ago, comedienne Carol Burnett successfully sued the National Enquirer for implying she acted tipsy at a New York City restaurant, offering diners at another table a taste of her dessert, spilling wine on someone, and even engaging in a verbal scuffle with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, according to EW.com. Because both of Burnett's parents had been alcoholics, the tabloid tale hit a hot button for Burnett. She sued for libel and won, although the case was appealed by the Enquirer and she ultimately settled out of court.

Other celebrities who settled out of court include "Blue Blood" Tom Selleck, who sued the Globe for implying he was gay, and actress Elizabeth Taylor, who went after the Enquirer after the tabloid claimed she had a drinking problem, according to EW.com.

What celebrities have sued the tabloids and lost?

Soccer star David Beckham's lawsuit against In Touch Magazine was dismissed by an American judge after the husband of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham sued the celebrity magazine for a story that alleged he paid for sex with a prostitute named Irma Nici. In Touch claimed its story was based on information provided by the call girl, and the judge tossed out the case because Beckham's lawyers could not prove the publication knew her information was false, according to the New York Daily News. Beckham won his case in Germany, but may not have prevailed in the United States, whose libel laws require public figures to prove that a publication acted with "malice" and deliberately intended to do harm.

Why do celebrities sue the tabloids?

Although many readers take tabloid articles with a grain of salt, celebrities have more reason now than ever to be concerned about steamy stories that damage their reputations. In recent years tabloids have beat out the mainstream media in exposing big scandals, such as John Edwards' secret affair with Rielle Hunter. The presidential wannabe had a baby with his campaign videographer and created an elaborate ruse to deceive the public, a hoax to which the inquisitive Enquirer caught on.

Edwards hoped the tabloid's sketchy reputation would cause readers to believe his denials since mainstream newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post did not corroborate the story until the Enquirer's evidence was too convincing to ignore. If the Enquirer was right about Edwards, readers may be more likely to believe the tabloid's other stories in the future, and celebrities may be more likely to fight back.

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