Not so with Kate Hudson. In November 2005, the actress sued The National Enquirer after the tabloid published pictures of her under the headline "Goldie [Hawn, Hudson's mom] Tells Kate: Eat Something! And She Listens!," suggesting, according to Hudson, that she was anorexic. In July 2006, Hudson won her libel suit against the paper, which printed an apology and paid an undisclosed amount of damages for the distress it caused her.
Earlier that year, in February 2005, Ashley Olsen sprang to action after The National Enquirer published a report titled "Ashley Olsen Caught in Drug Scandal." The billionaire businesswoman and actress sued the tabloid for $40 million, accusing the magazine of libel and invasion of privacy.
According to the lawsuit, the photo accompanying the story was "clearly designed to create the misimpression that she was 'drugged.'" Olsen also took issue with the Enquirer linking her to her-then boyfriend Scott Sartiano, who at the time, was being investigated by the FBI for allegedly selling ecstasy and cocaine. (His case was dismissed by a federal court in Los Angeles in November 2005.)
The tabloid apologized to Olsen in October 2005, printing a clarification notice that read, "The National Enquirer wants to make clear to its readers that, by its cover and headlines, it did not intend to accuse Ms. Olsen of being involved in any drug scandal." Phone calls to Olsen's representative to determine if she also got a monetary settlement were not immediately returned.
In 2000, singer Celine Dion sued The National Enquirer for publishing a story falsely claiming she was pregnant was twins. Dion won $20 million from the magazine, in the form of a donation to the American Cancer Society, along with a printed apology and full retraction.
Actor Patrick Swayze, who is battling pancreatic cancer, blasted the Enquirer for its March 6 story about his health, headlined "The End." The piece said he had just five weeks to live.
The star of the movies "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," and the TV series "The Beast" said in a statement: "It's amazing to me that the tabloids such as The National Enquirer print such negative stories about me and my health when there are so many positive things going on in my life right now. I've started a new chemotherapy and, once again, I am one of the lucky ones with pancreatic cancer that is responding well to the treatment. I hope in the future, the press will think twice about printing inaccuracies and painting an unpleasant picture when I have so much to be thankful for at this time."
While lawsuits and scorn likely won't stop The National Enquirer, or any other tabloid or blog, from targeting celebrities, their star subjects may find some comfort in the following facts. According to the Magazine Publishers of America, in 2000, the Enquirer boasted a circulation of approximately 2.1 million issues per week in the U.S.; as of 2007, that figure dropped to about 1 million.
The Inquirer is owned by privately-held American Media, Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla., which also publishes health and fitness magazines.