Kate Winslet is suing British newspaper for libel

Kate Winslet has brought the hammer down on another publication for libel. This time, it’s The Daily Mail, specifically a writer who wrote a particularly nasty piece about Winslet’s body called “Should Kate Winslet Win an Oscar for the World’s Most Irritating Actress?” Charming. This isn’t the first time Winslet has sued or threatened to sue, and as far as I can find, every time a publication pisses her off, an editor either has to apologize or give Winslet money. In 2003, the British edition of GQ had to issue Winslet an apology over the digital enhancement to Kate’s image – they made her look very, very thin, and if memory serves, they even digitally lengthened her legs.

In March 2007, Winslet won a libel lawsuit against the British magazine Grazia, who claimed that she was seeking outside diet help. At the time, she issued a statement, saying that she was donating the money won to an eating disorder charity: “Grazia magazine has apologized to me in full, and admitted that their story was incorrect, which gives me tremendous peace of mind. I feel very strongly that ‘curves’ are natural, womanly and real… I shall continue to hope that women are able to believe in themselves for who they are inside, and not feel under such incredible pressure to be unnaturally thin. I am donating the ‘damages’ given to me by Grazia, to an eating disorder charity.”

This time, I’m actually not quite sure if Winslet has a case. The writer, Liz Jones, is very nasty, but I’m not sure if she actually crosses the libel line:

Kate Winslet, role model for women everywhere who don’t fit into Hollywood’s traditional ideal body, is so protective of her status that she’s just mad enough to sue a publication that says she lied about her fitness habits.

The Oscar winner is suing the Daily Mail, a UK tabloid, saying they libeled her in an article called, “Should Kate Winslet Win an Oscar for the World’s Most Irritating Actress?” She’s seeking around $225,000 in damages.

It’s not the irritating part that has her up in arms, leaving her “distressed and embarrassed” and feeling that they had “injured her personal and professional reputation,” however.

“[Winslet] was particularly upset by what she regarded as the very unpleasant and nasty way in which the article was written,” according to her April legal filing.

The tab questioned a quote she gave to Elle, where she said, “I don’t go to the gym because I don’t have time, but I do Pilates workout DVDs for 20 minutes or more every day at home.”

The Daily Mail writer, Liz Jones, claims she had succumbed to Hollywood pressure and slimmed down, saying she “has become, in my opinion, as drippy and as impossibly vain as the rest of them.”

“She caught a nasty dose of Hollywooditis. It happens to the best of them, of course it does,” wrote Jones. “It is the duplicitousness that enrages me and most other women I have spoken to.”

Kate doesn’t want the tabloid to reprint their claims, however, they are so far refusing the ban.

[From OK! Magazine]

During the Oscar season, I read a lot of articles about Kate Winslet, especially in the British press. I missed this Daily Mail piece, but I did notice something peculiar about the way the British press in general approached Kate Winslet. Specifically, Kate was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. When she was honest about her struggles with her weight or body image, she was slammed for being vain or image-obsessed. When she tried to just talk about the work, and leave her personal stuff aside, the journalists tended to put in a few sly references to “the fat girl is all grown up”, stuff like that. I like that Winslet has the cajones to take on members of the press when she thinks they’ve crossed a line. But there is that old expression – “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

Kate Winslet is shown on Oscar night. Credit: WENN.com

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20 Responses to “Kate Winslet is suing British newspaper for libel”

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  1. Kait says:

    I think she’s one of the best Hollywood has to offer. I don’t know if she has a case in this particular instances but overall I’m glad she combats the nasty stuff coming out of the “journalist” pieces.

  2. dirtyoldman says:

    I don’t like thin-skinned litigious types. She’s great, but she has to learn that what we think of her won’t be affected much by what some alcoholic journo writes in The Daily Wipe.

    And unless they actually wrote something they are unable to prove, they probably didn’t violate the grounds for “fair comment,” which is one of the standard libel defenses.

    Ms. Winslet, nobody likes a crybaby.

  3. jennifer aniston says:

    what was her last hit movie

  4. Rose says:

    Ugh, the Mail is a rag and Liz Jones a vicious old toad. I hope Kate sues the arse off of them.

  5. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    The Reader; maybe you need to put down your bong, turn off Sesame Street, and step out into the world ?

  6. Ned says:

    I think she made some PR mistakes with some too sanctimonious statements.

    She did lose weight, bleached her hair, got a tan and improved her appearance, but at the same time she tried to portray herself as a non diet- not too much exercise- natural look- kind of girl.

    You can claim the “I love my curves” approach, but don’t go blond and tan at the same time.

    People will see you as a hypocrite who is tring to both use the “fat” card and the sexy makeover card at the same time.

    Having said that, the British media is known for being very judgmental and likes to tear down people.

  7. CandyKay says:

    I’m sure it’s no fun having nasty things written about you, but it comes with the territory.

    British libel laws are too restrictive, in my opinion, and in many cases are being used by dangerous people – often with only a tenuous connection to Britain – to control what’s being said about them. Google “libel tourism” or “Khalid bin Mahfouz” if you’re interested.

    Kate can punish the Daily Mail by refusing to give them any interviews in the future – and so can her husband and her many show business friends.

  8. missy says:

    “….the British edition of GQ had to issue Winslet an apology over the digital enhancement to Kate’s image – they made her look very, very thin, and if memory serves, they even digitally lengthened her legs”

    I don’t think I would mind if someone digitally enhanced me.

  9. geronimo says:

    Yes, the DM is vile and Liz Jones is a particularly bilious, bitter old hag but I’m with Candy Kay on this one. Far better for Kate to ignore it, take the high road and just cut them off for all future interviews.

  10. FF says:

    Screw The Mail I’m getting tired of their bitchy tirades dressed up as ‘articles’ and ‘columns’. More celebs should sue. I remember an article literally calling Victoria Beckham a bobbled-headed moron who had no right to design clothes when she was such a stick. And considering I’m not a fan of Posh and I thought it was obnoxious – what about the readers who actually like her? I mean, if you don’t like her clothes line then criticise her designs – but an all out attack masquerading as a supposedly informed opinion – or worse – fact; all while using that same celebs name to up the circulation of your daily, is just pathetic.

    Kate should sue because it seems as if they’ve done the same here.

    As for her so-called-image change. All I remember is her saying that when she was with her first husband he was always encouraging her to eat more and discouraging her from taking certain parts – meaning that she got less and less work as an actress. I think the slimming down and going blonde was simply due to the change in personal image that came with a new partner and lifestyle.

    Personally I believe her and don’t think her particular line comes from sanctimony. She’s never become stick thin she’s always made sure she didn’t become that way.

    I don’t think she’s a ‘crybaby’ at all. Half of the reason the press feels they can say any nasty thing that crosses their minds about people in the public eye is because they don’t ever feel they’re going to be challenged.

    Personally I’m tired of The Mail’s baseline cattiness being passed off as ‘journalism’. They can be bitchy at the watercooler but please try to step up a little from the gutter when writing for mainstream publication – all we ask for is a modicum of wit and intelligence, and if that’s too much to ask let us know now because I assumed they’d want to be known as a newspaper, not a rag.

  11. Darya says:

    What a great idea to give the sued money to charity. This could be a new way to drum up funds for needy causes, at the same time teaching these sleeze rags to quit printing lies.

  12. Amy says:

    The British press is brutal, much worse than the Americans. I think this is a nasty piece of drivel by a jealous, negative excuse for a writer. Let it go Kate. You are giving them what they want( more publicity) when you draw attention to it.
    I do think Kate is one of the more “normal” people in Hollywood. You don’t read much about her i the tabs, she isn’t out famewhoring for attention ala Kidman and Paltrow. She’s probably not perfect but I can’t think of anything bad to say about her.She is an excellent actress who finally got recogntion she deserved. n

  13. ChristinaT says:

    i’m glad she’s suing the mags instead of acting “outraged”, talking about how she’s a size 2 yadda yadda and feels perfectly fine and confident and then proceeding to lose 20 pounds in the next two weeks… frankly, she has every right to defend herself and her honor if she so chooses…

  14. ^^ says:


    It means balls.

    Cajones means drawers.

  15. czarina says:

    This, too, is a situation of ‘damned if you do/damned if you don’t’. On the one hand, it IS giving more press to the Daily Mail and feeding their publicity machine.
    On the other hand, a celebrity ought to have some sort of method to retaliate against this sort of public verbal abuse that is nothing more than character assassination.
    I don’t really know the libel laws in Britian, but I would assume her lawyer would have told her if she had no case at all.

  16. Chicamorena says:

    To Amy:

    That’s exactly why the slag mags print all that garbage — because they know the celebs won’t sue for fear of throwing more fuel on the fire.

    It’s different with political people. The National Enquirer, one of the most despicable tabloids in print, has a pretty good track record for accuracy when they dig up dirt on politicos. They check it ten ways from Sunday before they print it, because they know if they get it wrong they will get sued out the wazoo. But celebs are fair game for any slimeball with an agenda.

  17. May says:

    I’ve always liked her and she’s a great actress. She deserved that Oscar for the Reader. As for bitter old scrawny Liz Jones from Britain – the home of the yellow-bellied press… you can’t go around saying whatever you want about people and not expect to get sued. Everyone with half a brain knows that. Good for her. No one should take crap like that.

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