Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison
Madonna won substantial damages from a newspaper on Tuesday for breaching her privacy and infringement of copyright by publishing "purloined" photos of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie.
The singer, who has just completed her "Sticky & Sweet" year-long world tour, was not at London's High Court for the settlement of her action against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday.
Her lawyer John Kelly told the court she would be donating the undisclosed damages to her Raising Malawi charity.
Kelly said the singer had gone to great pains to ensure that her wedding to her now ex-husband Ritchie in December 2000 had been wholly private.
But in 2003 an interior designer, who was working on her home in Beverly Hills, surreptitiously copied at least 27 photos from the wedding album and provided them to Bonnie Robinson who, in June 2008, offered to sell them to the Mail on Sunday.
Kelly said that the newspaper did not purchase them at that time but waited until October 2008, when Madonna had announced that she was divorcing the director and there was huge media interest about her marriage.
Just three days after she had announced her divorce, the paper published 10 of the photos.
Kelly said Madonna had chosen not to sell her wedding photos to the media.
"It was far more important to the claimant that the privacy of the occasion was maintained," he said, adding that until the newspaper's actions, no photos of the wedding had been published anywhere in the world.
Associated Newspapers' lawyer, Niri Shan, said it accepted that it had been wrong and offered its sincere apologies to Madonna and her family.
Madonna wins damages over wedding photos
Tue Oct 6, 9:35 am ET
LONDON (AFP) – Madonna accepted undisclosed damages for invasion of privacy and infringement of copyright on Tuesday over "purloined" pictures of her wedding to Guy Ritchie.
The pictures appeared in the Mail on Sunday newspaper after the US pop diva filed for divorce from the British filmmaker last year.
Madonna -- who initially sought five million pounds (eight million dollars, 5.4 million euros) -- was not at London's High Court for her action against Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Mail on Sunday.
But her lawyer John Kelly said the damages would go to her Raising Malawi charity.
Madonna went to great lengths to ensure her December 2000 wedding to Ritchie in a Scottish castle was entirely private, Kelly said.
But in 2003 an interior designer working on Madonna's home in California, secretly copied 27 photos from her wedding album, which were subsequently offered for sale by a Los Angeles woman to the Mail on Sunday in June 2008.
The tabloid waited until Madonna's divorce announcement last November, when there was increased interest in her marriage, before buying the pictures and publishing 10 of them.
Associated Newspapers' lawyer Niri Shan said the publisher accepted it acted wrongly, offered its apologies to Madonna, destroyed the images, and agreed to pay her damages and legal costs.