Adele's son wins privacy damages
Published 23/07/2014 | 10:59
Adele's toddler son has accepted a five-figure sum in damages in settlement of a privacy case brought by his parents over paparazzi photos of his "milestone moments".
Lawyers for the Skyfall singer, who launched the proceedings with her partner Simon Konecki, said she was emphatic that two-year-old Angelo Adkins was not and must never be "public property".
"It is a matter of profound sadness that many of his milestone moments, such as his first family outing and his first trip to playgroup, were photographed and published worldwide expressly against his family's wishes. Adele and Simon never encourage such photos. Quite the opposite," solicitor Jenny Afia told Mr Justice Bean in London.
Corbis Images UK Limited had offered to pay damages and legal costs to Angelo and agreed not to use the photos at issue again, she added.
Ms Afia said that, as a world-famous singer and songwriter, Adele accepted and even embraced her public profile: "She is extremely grateful to the public and press for their support in helping her achieve international acclaim."
The action concerned certain photos of Angelo with Adele, which the photographic agency made available for publication in the English press.
"The parents' view is that these images were of routine, everyday family occasions which the paparazzi has no right to intrude upon, profit from and file away in picture libraries for future reference and use."
Ms Afia said Corbis had also confirmed the names of the paparazzi, not employed by the company, who took the photos, and her firm, Schillings, had written to them explaining that legal action would be taken if they photographed Angelo again in circumstances that breached his privacy or violated his rights under the Data Protection Act.
On that basis the claim was withdrawn against the defendants listed as VVV and others - persons unknown who were responsible for the taking or sale to Corbis of photographs of Angelo on or about June 21 and November 16 2013.
Ms Afia added: "Adele and Simon are pleased this matter has been resolved. They continue to do all they can to protect Angelo's rights in relation to the paparazzi, including taking legal action where necessary.
"They will be holding the damages on trust on behalf of the claimant for this purpose. They will also continue efforts to improve the laws relating to paparazzi and children generally, building on the successful campaign Adele helped fund in California resulting in far stricter harassment laws."
Ms Afia said later: "Being in the public eye doesn't mean your children are public property. Our laws provide full protection against the paparazzi and more parents should make use of them.
"These images were taken during private, recreational time unconnected with professional or public engagements. They represent a clear infringement of our client's right to privacy.
"As this case shows, taking photos can be as intrusive as publishing them. This case also emphasises a dividing line between celebrities who strive to keep their children out of the spotlight and those who make them part of their brand.
"The children of famous parents are not celebrities. The law can, will and should protect them."