Madonna accepts damages from publisher over privacy invasion

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LONDON (AP) — Madonna and her twin daughters, Stella and Estere, have accepted damages from the British publisher of the Mail Online website over an article that was a "serious invasion of privacy," a lawyer for the star said Thursday.

Madonna sued Associated Newspapers over a January story that reported details of her adoption of the 4-year-old twins from Malawi.

The singer's lawyer, Jenny Afia, told a judge in London that the story, published while the adoption was underway, could 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."

"Under Malawian law and equivalent provisions under English law, there are rules around identifying children who are in the process of being adopted, principally for their own security and welfare," Afia said.

She said the article revealed the girls' names, race, age, the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi and that they were the subject of pending adoption applications from Madonna.

Mail Online said it had "no intention whatsoever of exposing the girls to any harm and no reason to believe that they were in fact exposed to harm."

It noted in a statement that Madonna had "published photographs on her Instagram account of her family taking a particular interest in the girls, together with their names and location during the course of the adoption process."

Afia said the publisher had agreed to pay Madonna's legal costs and undisclosed damages. She said Madonna would donate the damages to a pediatric hospital in Malawi.

"She is pleased that at least some good can come out of the situation," the lawyer said.

Madonna was not at London's High Court for Thursday's hearing. The singer has six children, including four adopted from Malawi.

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