Kate Beckinsale Claims Libel Damages Over False Barbarella Claims

Whenever a well-known role is up for grabs, especially when its a comic book character or some other pop-culture icon, stories seem to flood forth from every last corner of the press and blogosphere. They proclaim, very often as though fact, that somebody, anybody, everybody who looks – or could look – just a little like the character in question is up for the role. Sometimes, there doesn't even need to be a physical resemblance – see Eddie Murphy as The Riddler or Johnny Depp as Michael Jackson, for example.

Today, one of these rumors blew up in the hands of the newspaper that ran with it. A hearing at London High Court has awarded Kate Beckinsale £200,000 for a libelous claim associating her with the proposed Barbarella movie. But what was it the paper said that was so contentious?

Not that Kate had won the role, but had instead that she had lost it, having been passed over in favour of Rose Magowan. In reality, Kate had never in any way had any real association with the part, had not been approached nor been shown a script. In reality she was only passed over in favour of Magowan the way that every other woman in the world had been.

The newspaper in question was The Daily Express. I'm sure my fellow Britons will be making their no-surprise faces right now. This is an illustrative story, however, about letting rumours be rumours and seeing them as that and only that. And it tells us, once and for all, that Kate Beckinsale has not been approached for a role in Barbarella.

Beckinsale's solicitor Graham Atkins gave this statement:

The film industry, particularly at the highest level in Hollywood, values actresses on the basis of them being successful and in-demand – one may say, being 'hot property'. This article wrongly gave the impression that the claimant's career is in decline which would undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on those who would be casting film roles, as well as the industry as a whole.

I guess, then, we shouldn't turn the comments section into a discussion of her career, of whether Kate Beckinsale is indeed 'hot property' or 'in decline'. We shouldn't, but I bet we do.

Quote via The Telegraph.