Publisher apologizes to Zeta-Jones and Douglas. But he still testifies that he had the right to scoop their wedding photos

By Gary Susman
Updated February 17, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

The owner of the magazine that published unauthorized photos of the 2000 wedding of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas apologized to the couple in court on Monday for causing the pair distress, but he defended his right to print the paparazzi shots. ”I am sorry Miss Zeta-Jones felt like that,” Hello! magazine owner Eduardo Sanchez Junco told a London courtroom, according to the Associated Press. Asked if he was apologizing, the Spaniard said through an interpreter, ”Obviously, any way in which I have offended her, yes.” He added, ”But I think that their attitude was a little bit exaggerated.”

The Douglases sold the exclusive rights to the wedding photos to Britain’s OK! magazine in order to avoid publication of what they called the ”tacky” and unflattering shots taken by paparazzi and published in Hello! three days before OK!’s spread ran. They are suing Hello! for some $800,000.

The defense is arguing that the Douglases forfeited the right to privacy by soliciting bids for the photo rights from various magazines, including Hello! By selling the rights to the highest bidder, the defense claims, the newlyweds showed they were more interested in money than privacy. Zeta-Jones testified last week that the $1.7 million they received from OK! ”is a lot of money maybe to a lot of people in this room, but it is not that much for us.”