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Wednesday April 7, 2010

Actress wins defamation suit

mages@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Indian actress G. Yuvarani (pic), who is married to a Malaysian businessman, has won RM70,000 in damages in her defamation suit against two distributors and the publisher of popular magazine Indian Movie News.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Varghese George Varughese ruled that the defendants had failed to establish their defence of justification and were liable for the publication of two defamatory articles relating to the actress.

He also ordered the defendants to pay Yuvarani 8% in interest annually from the date of judgment on April 1 until full settlement is made and the litigation costs.

Yuvarani, who acted as superstar Rajini­kanth’s sister in the superhit movie Baasha in 1995, has also appeared in movies like Jathi Malli (1992), Walter Vetrivel (1993), Pasoom­ponn (1994), Parthale Paravasam (2001) and Indirasena (2010). She has been living in Malaysia since 1998.

Justice Varghese said he found the statements in the magazine damaging to the actress.

“The statements satisfied the test of having a tendency to portray the plaintiff negatively among its readers and others interested in the personal affairs of stars of Tamil movies and serials. They did not have as foundation some interviews given or statements made in the first place by the plaintiff,” he said in his judgment here yesterday.

Justice Varghese said it was more damaging to Yuvarani’s reputation when a statement gave the impression that the actress had been cheated of her money and was in a situation where she had to endure hardship to earn an income for herself.

Yuvarani, 35, had filed the suit in 2003 against the magazine’s distributor Mentakab Agency (M) Sdn Bhd, its Singaporean distributor Indian Movie News Publications P/L, printer Percetakan Kum and publisher Indian Movie News Publica­tions (M) Sdn Bhd.

She had claimed that the words published in the April and August 1998 issues implied, among others, that she was involved in prostitution in Bombay, India, lusted after men and sex, and was immoral.

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