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CAN THEY SHOOT A CELEB GETTING OUT OF THE CAR?: Britain’s tabloids and celebrity magazines are still digesting Sienna Miller’s winning of 53,000 pounds, or $78,000, in damages from a London picture agency, the first claim to use the country’s 1997 Protection from Harassment Act against paparazzi. Observers speculate Miller’s pioneering case could result in more celebrities taking similar action — bad news for the nation’s notorious tabloids and celebrity magazines. The U.K. already has some of the toughest libel laws in the world.
Last month, Miller brought legal action against the agency, Big Pictures, and its owner Darryn Lyons, at London’s High Court, for what Miller’s lawyers called “a campaign of harassment since June 2008.” The case was due to be heard at the High Court early next year, before the two parties reached a settlement. As part of the settlement, which was approved by London’s High Court Friday, the agency has undertaken “not to pursue or follow [Miller], nor to doorstep [Miller] at her home or the home of her family.”
Miller has also agreed as part of the settlement that photographers may reasonably be present when she is entering or leaving a nightclub, bar or restaurant, is on a public footpath or highway — as long as she is not visibly upset or distressed — and when she’s attending a red-carpet event. Miller won 37,000 pounds, or $54,000, in damages, plus legal costs, regarding her court action for harassment and invasion of privacy, and a further 16,000 pounds, or $23,000 in damages, plus legal costs, regarding a previous court action against Big Pictures for invasion of privacy over a series of intrusive photos the agency procured and syndicated in July.
— Nina Jones