June 7, 2006

UPDATE1-Magazine launches action over leaked Jolie pics

By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - The celebrity magazine Hello! launched
legal action on Wednesday against Internet sites that printed a
leaked exclusive shot of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with
their infant daughter.

Just as People magazine announced it had landed exclusive
North American rights to the first pictures of the baby, an
image of the newborn Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and her parents
popped up on at least two Web sites as the cover shot for

"We were very shocked and horrified to see that this
embargo has been breached," Juliet Herd feature editor for
Hello! Magazine, which sells in Britain, Spain, Turkey, Russia,
Dubai, Thailand and Greece, told Reuters.

"Hello! is taking legal action around the world to stop
Internet sites and everyone else who may seek to publish," she
said. "We are sending out legal 'Cease and Desist' letters to
each of these sites."

"We have absolutely no idea how the picture was leaked."

The baby was born on May 27 in a hospital in the southern
African nation of Namibia where an army of paparazzi had
descended, hoping to capture their own photos of the child.

On Wednesday, Pitt and Jolie finally emerged from seclusion
to speak to a select group of journalists in the west coast
tourist town of Swakopmund.

"We are very grateful to the people of Namibia for making
our time so special ... we could not have picked a better place
to have our child," Jolie said at the briefing, where they
laughed off talk of an imminent wedding.

They announced on Monday that they had agreed to let photo
agency Getty Images market pictures of their newborn with all
proceeds going to help the less fortunate.

Experts said worldwide rights to the pictures could sell
for anywhere from $5 million to $7 million.

The picture surfaced on celebrity-lampooning Defamer.com
(http://www.defamer.com) and the LiveJournal gossip blog

Defamer.com, whose image portrays the baby in a golden
glow, said: "Mere moments after staring upon the Chosen One's
image, we felt as if we were bathed in the same golden light
that surrounds the infant's still frail form."

Alison Crombie, spokeswoman in London for Getty Images,
said: "Our legal team are looking into it and we will take it
from there. But I really don't think it will devalue the
pictures as everyone is dying to see the full set."

For celebrity magazines and photo agencies, there is
increasingly cut-throat competition to land exclusives and sate
the appetite of readers obsessed by the lives of the stars.

Prices have gone through the roof in the past two or three
years and Alan Williams, head of celebrity agency Big Pictures,
told Reuters: "The first pictures of Brad and Angelina with the
baby are a massive opportunity."

(Additional reporting by Gordon Bell in Cape Town)