Recently-divorced US pop icon Madonna is claiming more than five million pounds ($7.3 million) damages from a British newspaper for the publication of photographs of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie eight years ago, her lawyer said Monday.
A spokeswoman for the star in New York said later that Madonna would donate any damages awarded to her in the case to the charitable foundation Raising Malawi.
The organisation was set up by the pop singer to help children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in the African country, from where Madonna adopted three-year-old David Banda in 2006.
At proceedings at the High Court in London, lawyer Matthew Nicklin said that the pictures, published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper October 19, had been copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at her home in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
Nicklin said that no photographs of the marriage, on December 22, 2000, had ever been published anywhere in the world until October 19 this year.
Madonna, who divorced Ritchie last month, and who is said to be worth more than 300 million pounds, had been given "no warning" of the publication, said Nicklin.
"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," he said.
The newspaper had paid 5,000 pounds for the photographs.
The High Court said the judge had entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability Monday. Further proceedings to assess the damages to be paid are expected to be heard next year.