Russell Brand, J.K. Rowling win big in libel lawsuits

Russel Brand and J.K. Rowling took on two separate UK tabloid publications and both won in court.

russell brand

Photo credit: Euan Cherry/

Comedian Russell Brand and author J.K. Rowling were both delivered “substantial damages” in two separate court cases against British gossip magazines, according to E! News.

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Brand was awarded unspecified damages last month after he sued The Sun for publishing a story alleging he had cheated on his girlfriend, Jemima Khan, in November 2013. London’s High Court formally accepted the ruling just recently.

The Forgetting Sarah Marshall actor, who was previously married to singer Katy Perry for 14 months, is rumored to be getting very serious with Khan and an insider told Grazia magazine that he may be planning to propose soon. “Russell is planning a trip to Asia for the two of them in spring, when he intends to propose,” said the source.

Brand announced last month on Twitter that he plans to donate the money to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

The campaign raises funds in the memory of 96 people killed during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final, according to E! News, The Sun published a story soon after the tragedy titled The Truth, which blamed fans’ behavior for the deaths.

Rowling’s victory comes after suing The Daily Mail for writing a story alleging the Harry Potter author had made up the story of her extremely humble beginnings so that people would be attracted to her “sob story”. The Daily Mail accepted liability and agreed to publicly apologize in addition to the author’s monetary reward.

Though Rowling emerged victorious in The Daily Mail suit, this is not the first time she has been accused of marketing mischief. Last summer there was some buzz around the author’s latest novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, because she had used a male pen name. Some believe Rowling had meant to be discovered, and the nom de plume was simply a ploy to sell more books.

Brand and Rowling join a long list of celebrities who have fought to maintain control of their own image. In 2010, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sued British Gossip rag, The News of the World, after it published a story claiming the two were divorcing. The couple were ultimately awarded damages, plus legal fees, and the paper agreed to print a retraction.

How do you feel about celebs suing tabloid publications? Is it empowering for stars to fight gossip, or do rumors come with the territory when a person is famous?


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