Leveson Inquiry: Heat, OK! And Hello! Magazine Editors Admit Celebrities Approve 'Most' Stories
The majority of stories in weekly celebrity magazines are pre-agreed with the stars involved, the Leveson inquiry has heard.
Giving evidence Rosie Nixon, the editor of Hello! said about 70% of the material they publish is approved beforehand with the celebrity, while Lucy Byrne, the editor of OK! said the figure was closer to 80%.
Nixon said Hello! worked "directly" with stars "every step of the way" and would not run a story if the celebrity told them not to.
"It's a really honest, trusting sort of relationship, we ultimately wouldn't do anything to upset anyone," she said. "If somebody doesn't want us to run something we don't run it. We wouldn't get access to a big event in their lives in the future if we have done something to upset them."
While Bryne added: "A huge percentage is working directly with the celebrities." The OK! editor said singer Charlotte Church had approached the magazine to publish pictures of her new born children because she trusted it.
"She knew she would be protected, she would have approval of the pictures and it would look beautiful," Bryne said.
Giving evidence alongside Bryne and Nixon was Heat editor Lucie Cave. She told the inquiry that she did not think that once a celebrity had sold pictures of her family they were "open season" for the press.
"I don't think it's fair," she said. "We're all human beings. It doesn't mean everyone has a right to invade their private life."
The editors also criticised the approach of some foreign celebrity magazines which would publish photos and headlines on their front covers that UK magazines would not touch.
Byrne said she was "extremely shocked" by the "crazy Italian and French covers which are quite graphic" including one headline that sensationalised the discovery of a body on the Queen's Sandringham estate.