Madonna has accepted damages from Associated Newspapers over a “serious invasion of privacy” by MailOnline.
When the singer adopted her twin daughters Stella and Estere in February, she asked the press to “respect our privacy during this transitional time.”
However, in January, before the adoption had been formally completed, MailOnline published an article revealing the girls’ names, age and race. The article also revealed that the girls were living at the time in an orphanage in Malawi.
According to the BBC, the singer’s solicitor Jenny Affia told a judge today (July 27): “The MailOnline published it at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm. Their actions could, in her view, have threatened the integrity and/or outcome of the adoption process which would have had potentially life-changing implications for the girls, as well as for Madonna and her family.”
She continued: “Many people in Malawi know of Madonna as an individual of fame and financial means. In the circumstances, Madonna believes that it would (and should) have been self-evident to the reporter that the protection of the girls’ identities pending the decision about their potential adoption was likely to be vital for their safety and welfare.”
Madonna’s solicitor confirmed that MailOnline’s publishers, Associated Newspapers, have offered to pay damages and costs. The singer will donate the damages to the Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery in Malawi, a hospital Madonna opened earlier this year, named after another of her daughters.
“She is pleased that at least some good can come out of the situation,” Afia added.