Live

Watch CBSN Live

Celebrity Couple Gets Day In Court

Catherine Zeta-Jones testified in British court Monday that her Plaza Hotel wedding more than two years ago to actor Michael Douglas left them poor, stressed out and with damage to their careers.

The 33-year-old actress and her husband, 58, are blaming it all on unauthorized wedding pictures. That's why they are suing Hello! magazine; its Spanish counterpart, Hola!; the magazine's proprietor, Eduardo Sanchez Junco; media consultant the Marquesa De Varela; her company Neneta Overseas Ltd.; and freelance photographer Philip Rameyso they sued.

On Monday, the Hollywood duo got their day in court. CBS News Correspondent Richard Roth reports for The Early Show from London.

The couple is claiming its privacy was invaded by an unflattering set of wedding photos shot without permission. For the pain they say they suffered, they're seeking almost a million dollars in damages.

The unauthorized photos of the New York wedding appeared in celebrity magazine "Hello" three days before rival magazine "OK!" hit newsstands with pictures it had paid almost $2 million to print. "OK!" wants damages from "Hello," too.

"The quality was what every bride would hate to have out there. It was cheap and tacky and everything I didn't want," Zeta-Jones testified.

Zeta-Jones, pregnant with the couple's second child, was cool and poised during 90 minutes of testimony.

She said she wanted to protect her privacy and her image, and to ensure that the couple could enjoy the day.

"There are so many different things that I wanted to keep secret. There are certain moments of emotion, certain moments of embrace," she said.

James Price, attorney for Hello!, noted that the authorized pictures in OK! included embraces.

"There is embracing, and there is embracing," Zeta-Jones said, drawing a little laugh around the court room.

She said the couple agreed to the deal with "OK!" to give them a measure of control "after living in a world where many people are very interested in what we do and how we live, ... to kind of quash the intensity of people stealing and being voyeuristic is a very private situation.

"This was going to be an overall look into the life of us ... in a classy way," she said. "We wanted to show the world a little slice of that ... in our control without us becoming a media circus."

"The Mirror" columnist Sue Carroll said the actress "was photographed eating, and a newspaper had used the headline, 'Catherine Eater Jones.' It's deemed to be deeply offensive."

The actress complained that one of the Hello! pictures made her look large.

"It was extremely important for my career that I regain my figure after giving birth to Dylan. I had put a lot of work in at the gym which I loathe going to.

"It is all too easy for the film industry to conclude that an actress is past her best," Zeta-Jones said in a deposition made in November, and distributed in court Monday.

Douglas testified that the couple knew a celebrity wedding would attract intense interest, and that they had a responsibility to deal with it.

"The best way to solve this was to make a deal with one publication," he said. "We thought this would be a more ordered way and it would eliminate the paparazzi frenzy that tends to happen around these events."

Price told the actress that his own wedding photographs had not been worth $1.6 million. "I can understand," she quipped. But she said money was not the issue.

"I get well compensated in my job and my husband has had a long career, financially successful, and it is a lot of money maybe to a lot of people in this room, but it is not that much for us," she said.

Everyone involved says the point isn't money; it's principle.

Even the judge raised his eyebrows, questioning the principle of privacy at a wedding where part of the ceremony invites members of the public to raise objections to the marriage. It's one of the things that has led some cynics to believe the case is more about publicity, the unflattering kind, than about privacy of any kind.

There are no cameras in court, and no contracts restricting pictures outside. The media has massed outside the court. It's a free-for-all for free, which means that, whatever the verdict and legal precedent set, publicity will be part of the picture.