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Madonna wins damages over MailOnline story about her adopted daughters

By | Published on Friday 28 July 2017


Madonna has accepted undisclosed damages from Daily Mail owner Associated Newspapers over a report on the two young sisters the singer adopted earlier this year.

Twin sisters Stella and Estere brought the number of Malawian children adopted by Madonna to four. The popstar objected to a MailOnline report from January, before the adoption of the two four year olds had been completed, which revealed their names, race and age.

This, Madonna argued, was a “serious invasion of privacy” that caused her “considerable personal distress”, and which could have jeopardised both the adoption process and the two children’s safety.

The singer took the matter to the High Court in London on the basis her privacy rights had been breached by the newspaper. According to the BBC, her legal rep told the court: “MailOnline published [its story] at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm”.

Lawyer Jenny Afia added: “Their actions could, in her view, have threatened the integrity and/or outcome of the adoption process which would have had potentially life-changing implications for the girls, as well as for Madonna and her family. In the circumstances, Madonna believes that it would – and should – have been self-evident to the reporter that the protection of the girls’ identities pending the decision about their potential adoption was likely to be vital for their safety and welfare”.

After the court hearing, Afia told reporters: “Madonna brought this litigation because the newspaper threatened her girls’ safety by naming them before they were adopted. She will always take all possible steps to protect her family’s well-being”.

The lawyer then confirmed that Associated Newspaper had agreed to settle, adding that the damages her client was now set to receive would be donated to a newly opened children’s hospital in Malawi.

Meanwhile, a MailOnline spokesperson was quoted by the Press Association as saying: “We had no intention whatsoever of exposing the girls to any harm and no reason to believe that they were in fact exposed to harm”.