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The Sensation of Tabloids

In my last post, I touched on the recent case of the Duchess of Cambridge and the nude photos posted of her in a French tabloid. But that is just one of the many instances in which paparazzis have crossed the line, and celebrities have fought back. Much of the drama surrounding Princess Kate is reminiscent of the excessive attention Princess Diana, Prince William’s mother, received while she was alive. While Princess Di’s death was later blamed on the incompetence of her driver, her legacy as a harassed celebrity lives on. There are so many more public figures who have fought back.

  • Lindsay Lohan: Reportedly instructed her assistant to hit a paparazzo with her car in 2010. The former child star has been under scrutiny for her drug use, body, and theft.
  • Britney Spears: Oh, Britney. The singer has been all over the tabloids. She sued US Weekly for libel after they published a piece saying that Spears and former husband Kevin Federline supposedly made a sex tape they showed to their lawyers. In 2008 Spears started dating paparazzo Adnan Ghalib–who then relayed Spears’ private information to his employer. With this came the peak of Brtiney Spears’ meltdown.
  • Sharon Osbourne sued The Sun when they reported that she was “driving her husband Ozzy to destruction” by overworking him. Sharon won, and The Sun apologized for the story they “basically made up.”
  • Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie won a lawsuit against the London tabloid News of the World. The tabloid spread false claims that the couple was planning to split.
  • Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony sued The National Enquirer over claims that linked them to a drug scandal.
  • Katie Holmes sued American Media, Inc. (the owners of Star) for suggesting she does drugs and her family life is miserable.
  • Katy Perry sued an Australian tabloid AW over a claim that she cheated on her (now ex-) husband Russel Brand with a record producer.
  • David Beckham  filed a lawsuit for libel, slander and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” against In Touch… and also sued the hooker he supposedly hooked up with.

…Obviously there have been are times when the truth is stretched just a little bit too far. One of the most recent issues is the Murdoch phone tap scandal. Rupert Murdoch, chief executive officer and chairman of News Corporation has admitted to hacking phone lines, including those of celebrities, politicians, law enforcement officials, solicitors and even ordinary people. Watch this video up until about 5:15.


The first effect of this scandal was the closing of the News of the World, which ran for 168 years before saying goodbye. Early last month it was reported that the number of victims jumped to about 1,000 with another 3,076 possible victims of “illegal eavesdropping.” Not only was Prince William’s phone hacked, but also the voicemails of numerous other celebrities including: Angelina Jolie, Hugh Grant, Jude Law, Paul McCartney, and Brad Pitt, to name a few. The Murdoch case is a prime example of when journalism crosses both ethical and legal lines.



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