Top 10 Celebrities Who Sued the Tabloids for Lies
Top 10 Celebrities Who Sued the Tabloids for Lies

Top 10 Celebrities Who Sued the Tabloids for Lies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Script written by Nathan Sharp

The lesson here? Never trust gossip rags. Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Britney Spears have all sued gossip magazines for printing lies about them. WatchMojo is counting down the top 10 celebrity lawsuits against the tabloids.

Special thanks to our user wawam45 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Celebrities%20who%20sued%20the%20tabloids%20for%20lies

Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Celebrities Who Sued the Tabloids for Lies

The lesson here? Never trust gossip rags. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten celebrities who sued the tabloids for lies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various celebrities who have sued tabloids for defamation, libel, or anything else that stemmed from false information. We’ll be ranking our choices based on both the fame of the celebrity in question and the severity of the lie.

#10: Blake Shelton

This famous country music star targeted In Touch Weekly after they published a story on Shelton’s alleged drinking problem. The tabloid ran the scathing headline “Rehab for Blake: He Finally Hits Rock Bottom,” and the story contained brutal supposed truths, like the “facts” that Shelton drank before noon, that his drinking had destroyed his marriage, and that he urinated in public. Shelton sued the magazine, and the judge allowed the case to proceed, as the headline alone was enough to be considered libelous. The two parties reached an amicable settlement, the details of which are unknown.

#9: Cameron Diaz

The National Enquirer is among the most notorious of tabloids, and they were living up to that reputation when they accused Cameron Diaz of having an affair in the mid-2000s. The publication posted various photos of Diaz and producer Shane Nickerson that allegedly proved that the couple were having an affair. The two celebrities said that it was nothing more than a normal goodbye between friends and that the tabloid had grossly misrepresented the photos. They filed a massive $60 million joint lawsuit, as they claimed that the photos had caused issues in their respective relationships. The suit was settled out-of-court, and the parties received “substantial” damages.

#8: Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony

Now this is some shady journalism right here. Then again, it is the National Enquirer. In 2007, the magazine ran a story claiming that Jennifer Lopez and her then-husband Marc Anthony were “caught up in a heroin scandal.” Their proof? A picture of Anthony and photographer Michael Star, a man who was facing possession charges. A friend of Star’s had also allegedly told the magazine that Star and Anthony were good friends. However, an official stated that this was blatantly false, as Anthony did not know Star and was simply posing for a photo with a fan. The couple sued the magazine for “six figures.”

#7: J. K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is one of the most financially successful authors of all time, so it’s safe to say that she knows a thing or two about dramatic stories. Rowling had written an article for a single parents’ charity, Gingerbread, about her time as a single mother, and The Daily Mail completely warped it for their own dramatic purposes. The article claimed that Rowling had falsely portrayed her fellow churchgoers as “bigoted” to make it more of a “sob story” and that her false comments had upset the church. Rowling stated that their article was misleading and sued them for an undisclosed amount of money. She reportedly received “substantial damages” and donated the money to charity.

#6: Carol Burnett

Without Carol Burnett, this list may have never been made. The famous actress sued The National Enquirer for implying that she was drunk, loud, and belligerent at a dinner where she met American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1976. Burnett sued the tabloid, who defended itself on the grounds of the First Amendment. A jury found the Enquirer guilty of libel and awarded Burnett $200,000. While it may not sound like much, this was an influential moment. It put a damper on tabloids, showing that they could successfully be defeated in court. Everyone on this list who succeeded… arguably owes a little something to Burnett.

#5: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Sometimes tabloids can warp stories to fit their own agendas. Other times they just unashamedly make up stories and hope no one notices. Such was the case with News of the World, when they ran a story about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s alleged separation. They claimed that the couple had visited a divorce lawyer, divided their assets, and had figured out custody of their six children. This was not only blatantly false, but it also infringed upon the couple’s privacy rights, and Pitt and Jolie sued the tabloid for damages. They later received an undisclosed amount of money in reparation. Yes, they would eventually separate, but this incident happened years earlier back in 2010.

#4: Britney Spears

It’s hard not to assume that incidents like this are what contributed to Britney Spears’ mental breakdown. Us Weekly had claimed that Spears and her husband Kevin Federline had made a sex tape together, and the couple, in turn accused Us Weekly of fabrication and sued them for $10 million. The article claimed that Spears had told her lawyers of an alleged sex tape that she worried would be made public. However, the judge threw the case out, as Spears had “put her modern sexuality squarely, and profitably, before the public eye,” and as such, a supposed sex tape could not be considered defamation of character. Was that really an acceptable justification in 2006?

#3: Katie Holmes

Scientology and libel mix for this story starring Hollywood actress Katie Holmes and Star magazine. They ran the headlines “Katie DRUG SHOCKER” and “ADDICTION NIGHTMARE” on the cover of one of their magazines, which insinuated that she was a drug addict. She in turn sued the tabloid for a whopping $50 million in damages. However, the headlines were predictably false, as the story itself was about Holmes using an “e-meter,” a device which is used in Scientology - but we won’t get into that. The point is… it’s not a drug or a tool to administer them. Holmes won the suit, and Star was forced to make a “substantial” donation to the charity Dizzy Feet Foundation.

#2: Rebel Wilson

Making it in Hollywood is tough. Luckily for her, Rebel Wilson earned her career, contrary to the beliefs of Bauer Media’s Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly. Those magazines (along with a few others) ran articles claiming that Wilson had lied about many facets of her character, including her upbringing, age, and name, in order to appear more interesting to Hollywood producers. Wilson claims that she never lied about anything and that these accusations cost her numerous roles in movies. A jury sided with Wilson, and she was awarded over $4.5 million, which is the largest defamation payout in Australian history.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

David Beckham

Sued In Touch for Accusing Him of Hiring Prostitutes

Keira Knightley

Sued the Daily Mail for Accusing Her of Having an Eating Disorder

#1: Tom Cruise

Going after celebrities is one thing. Bringing their children into it is something else entirely. After Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s divorce, Bauer Media’s In Touch Weekly and Life & Style reported that Cruise had abandoned his daughter Suri, and accusations were made about Cruise choosing Scientology over his own daughter. Cruise called these accusations “disgusting” and asked the publisher to retract the story. When they refused to pull the story and failed to issue an apology, he sued Bauer Media for $50 million. The two eventually settled the case out of court and reached a confidential settlement.