Saturday, August 01, 2009

Princess wins suit against German publisher

BERLIN – A Hamburg court has ordered a German publisher to pay Sweden's Princess Madeleine $560,000 in damages for fabricating stories about her, the parties involved said Friday.

Sonnenverlag GmbH & Co KG was ordered to pay the damages by the Hamburg state court, which was ruling on an appeal against a lower court's 2007 award of ⁈0 in damages against the publishing house.

The publisher's magazines carried false reports about the 27-year-old princess being engaged and pregnant, among other things, her attorney Matthias Prinz told The AP.

Madeleine has been dating boyfriend Jonas Bergstrom since 2002, but the couple is neither engaged nor married, nor do they have any children.

Sonnenverlag puts out a raft of magazines in Germany, and the reports were carried in two weekly women's publications, Frau mit Herz (Woman with Heart) and Welt der Frau, (Woman's World), Prinz said.

"There were scores of untruthful articles about my client in the publications," he said.

The Hamburg state court confirmed that the judgment had been made Thursday, but did not provide further details.

The Swedish Royal Court said in a statement that the court ruled the articles were "untrue and degrading."

"Princess Madeleine intends to donate the money she is finally awarded to charity," the statement said.

Sonnenverlag's parent company, Baden-Baden based KLAMBT media group, also confirmed the ruling in a short statement.

"The amount of the court-ordered damages and the related charges are in the range expected by the KLAMBT media group," the statement said. "Appropriate accounting provisions were already undertaken in 2004."

Company spokesman Jonas Schmieder said he could not provide more information beyond the release, and declined to say whether the company would attempt another appeal.

Madeleine Therese Amelie Josephine — the Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland — is the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

She has two older siblings, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip.

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