LONDON (AP) _ The owner of Hello! magazine apologized Monday to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas for publishing unauthorized pictures of their wedding.
But Eduardo Sanchez Junco told the High Court in London he thought the celebrity couple had exaggerated the level of distress the pictures caused them. The couple filed a $800,000 lawsuit against the magazine.
In her testimony last week, Zeta-Jones said the ``tacky'' images in Hello! made her look overweight and the reception look like a ``disco.''
Douglas said he and his wife were still emotional about what they saw as a personal violation. ``It was a devastating time. ... The damage and stress that we've gone through is irreparable.''
The magazine published paparazzi shots days before an approved photo spread in rival publication OK! hit the stands. OK! paid the couple $1.6 million for exclusive rights to cover their November 2000 wedding at New York's Plaza Hotel.
The couple's lawyer, Michael Tugendhat, reiterated to Sanchez Junco that Zeta-Jones was very distressed by the photo spread.
``I am sorry about that,'' the magazine owner replied.
Tugendhat asked: ``Do you intend to convey an apology?''
``Obviously any way in which I have offended her, yes,'' replied Sanchez Junco.
The owner denied the unauthorized photo spread was printed as an act of revenge after the couple turned down his magazine's offer to exclusively cover their wedding.
He said he published the photographs to defend the economic interests of his magazine. Sanchez Junco also said he published hundreds of pictures of the couple before and after their marriage and insisted he always treated them with respect and affection.
Asked if he was surprised to hear how upset the newlyweds were, he answered: ``To a certain extent, yes. I think that their attitude was a little bit exaggerated.''
He said he believed the main reason they were suing him was because they believed the unauthorized pictures had damaged their exclusive deal with OK!
Zeta-Jones and Douglas are suing Hello! magazine; its Spanish counterpart, Hola!; Sanchez Junco; media consultant the Marquesa De Varela; her company Neneta Overseas Ltd.; and freelance photographer Philip Ramey, who allegedly helped arrange the sale.
OK! publisher Northern & Shell PLC is suing for $2.7 million.