Kate Beckinsale has won her libel claim against Express Newspapers at London’s High Court, over an article in the Daily Express newspaper that reported she had missed out on her “dream role” of Barbarella.
The Underworld actress, who was not at court for the settlement, won £20,000 in damages from the newspaper group, whose counsel Ian Helme offered a full apology as well as payment of her legal costs. Beckinsale’s solicitor, Graham Atkins, told Mr Justice Eady that the story was entirely false and harmful to the actress’s career prospects, causing considerable embarrassment by suggesting that she had been passed over in favour of Rose McGowan due to a downturn in her career. “The film industry, particularly at the highest level in Hollywood, values actresses on the basis of them being successful and in-demand – one may say, being ‘hot property’,” said Atkins. “This article wrongly gave the impression that the claimant’s career is in decline which would undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on those who would be casting film roles, as well as the industry as a whole.”
The original article, published on the paper’s website last month as well as in print, alleged that Beckinsale was facing “heartbreak” over the role, and also surmised that Barbarella was “expected to be a big commercial hit,” going on to say that this would be a big blow for the actress, whose latest film is out this November.
Barbarella is currently in development hell, with its original backer Universal dropping out. Director Robert Rodriguez is reportedly shipping it to other studios.