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?

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