LONDON (AP) -- Madonna won a court battle Monday against a British tabloid that published pictures recently of her wedding eight years ago.
The one-time Material Girl won a judgment against a British tabloid that she accused of breaching her privacy and copyright by publishing pictures of her 2000 wedding to film director Guy Ritchie. The court victory came just a few weeks after she was granted a preliminary divorce from Ritchie.
Madonna, who says the pictures were stolen from her by an interior designer in California, is seeking damages in excess of 5 million pounds ($7.5 million) from the publishers of the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
Judge David Eady entered a judgment in her favor but deferred a decision on compensation until the new year.
Compensation awards in similar cases are usually much smaller, but Matthew Nicklin, a lawyer representing Madonna, said the exclusive personal pictures were estimated to be worth that much.
A Mail on Sunday spokesman said Madonna did not own the copyright to the photographs when they were published and insisted they were not worth the amount she is seeking.
"Their commercial value today is indicated by the very modest sum we and other publications paid for them. The figure suggested by Madonna's lawyers is simply fantasy," he said. The spokesman asked not to be named in line with company policy.
Nicklin said the newspaper paid 5,000 pounds ($7,500) for the pictures.
Madonna, 50, and Ritchie, 40, were married at a Scottish castle on Dec. 22, 2000 at a lavish ceremony attended by many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney.
No pictures of the event had been published until they appeared Oct. 19 in the Mail on Sunday, said Nicklin. The newspaper published 11 photographs over the front page and a double-page inside spread.
"She was ambushed, for the simple reason that if the Mail on Sunday had told her what they intended to do, the claimant would have sought and obtained an injunction," Nicklin said.
Nicklin said the only photographs of the wedding were taken by photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino and presented to Madonna as a gift. He said Madonna put the photographs in an album that she kept at her home in Beverly Hills, California.
He said an interior designer, Robert Joseph Wilber, "surreptitiously gained access to the photograph album and copied at least 26 photographs."
Those images, which he said had "essentially been stolen by Mr. Wilber" were sold Oct. 15 to the Mail on Sunday by a woman identified as Bonnie Robinson of Los Angeles, Nicklin said.
Despite admissions made by the newspaper, Madonna has not received an apology, Nicklin added.
Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said Madonna will give any money she wins from the case to the charity Raising Malawi, which she set up to help children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in the African nation.
Madonna's adopted 3-year-old son, David Banda, is from Malawi.
Madonna and Ritchie were granted a preliminary decree of divorce on Nov. 21. The split is expected to become final early next month.