Star Magazine, founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1974, is known for their emphasis on sensational crime stories, astrology and celebrity gossip.
Up until 2004, Star Magazine was published as an unstapled, inexpensive newspaper. Although it was very successful, it remained in the shadow of its longer-established competitor, The Enquirer.
Furthermore, as media channels began to increase and consumers started receiving the same sensational stories for free, via TV and radio broad castings, circulations began to decline.
However, Star gained a new life once it switched to a magazine format. They started denying their tabloid roots and sought competition against a new breed of entertainment magazines. They also started headlining some very extreme sensational stories about celebrities, some of which were fabricated, leading to many complaints and lawsuits.
On March 1st, 2011, American actress Katie Holmes, filed a fifty million dollar lawsuit against American Media, the owners of STAR Magazine.
Apparently, Star Magazine captured a picture of Holmes, edited it, and placed it on the cover, insinuating she was a drug addict. Inside the magazine was a two page article titled “ADDICTION NIGHTMARE – Katie DRUG SHOCKER! – The Real Reason She Can’t Leave Tom”
According to research, the actual article had nothing to do with a drug addiction; in fact, the article did not even mention a drug addition. This was simply Star Magazines way of “capturing the consumers attention”, as they stated.
Proceeding the publication of this magazine, Holmes’ reputation began to crumble before her eyes as the many readers took this is with no filter or regards to its publication location.
In her effort to regain public acceptance, Holmes’ hired an attorney and a publicist, who stated “Star Magazine’s malicious claims about Katie are untrue, unethical and unlawful. Not only do they cruelly defame Katie, they play a cheap trick on the public, making ridiculously false claims on the cover unsupported by anything inside.”
In order to prove this case, Katie knew that she had to prove defamation and injury to her reputation. She had to also prove that the magazine acted with malice and knew that it was publishing false information.
Luckily, she was able to prove all of the above, bringing closure to the case in August 2011, with herself coming out on top! Upon winning the case, Star Magazine posted an apology on the cover of their magazine and also donated to a charity of Holmes choice. Exact financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
In addition, after meeting her Holmes’ publicist, Star Magazine agreed to give her a “casual” center photo spread; “Katie was pictured out and about in Beverly Hills…looking casual and relaxed in jeans and a leather jacket.”
In post interviews, Holmes’ said stated, “[I] have accepted the apology and was pleased the lawsuit has been resolved. With this dispute out of the way, I look forward to once again focusing my attention on my family and career.”