Kate Beckinsale Wins Back Her Reputation—and $32,000

Kate Beckinsale isn’t a fool, and she’s walking away with £20,000 to prove it.

After false claims that the British beauty was passed over for the role of a lifetime—to play the “sexy heroine Barbarella”—in favor of Rose McGowan, Beckinsale fought back in court and sued Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers for libel. On Thursday, a high court ruled that the paper pay Beckinsale approximately $32,000 and apologize to the actress.

In an article published on June 5, the Daily Express claimed that missing out on the role had thrown Beckinsale into emotional turmoil, claiming that she was “facing heartbreak after it emerged she is set to miss out on her dream role.” And just to rub it in, the article added, “the film is expected to be a big commercial hit so it will be a real blow to Kate.”

However, as it turns out, Beckinsale was never up for the role—making it very difficult for her to get passed over in favor of McGowan, let alone be upset over it.

Beckinsale’s solicitor, Graham Atkins, told Mr. Justice Eady that the accusations damaged her status and were very harmful to her career.

“This article wrongly gave the impression that the claimant’s career is in decline, which would undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on those who would be casting film roles, as well as the industry as a whole,” explained Atkins.

Ian Helme, attorney for Express Newspapers, said his client “is happy to pay damages and legal fees, as well as undertaking never to repeat the allegations. It hopes that by making this statement and apologizing in the Daily Express and online, the record will have been set straight and the claimant’s reputation restored.”

Good thing Kate has all this money to help “restore” her reputation!