Jennifer Lopez to sue over drugs claims

Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez has launched a libel action over allegations she was involved in a drugs scandal.

Her Belfast solicitor confirmed the first in a series of writs has been served on US tabloid the National Enquirer on behalf of the actress and husband Marc Anthony.

Defamation proceedings were taken against the paper's New York-based publishers American Media Inc, along with distributors Eason & Son Ltd in Dublin and John Menzies Plc in Edinburgh.

Lopez is understood to be seeking six-figure damages.

Her lawyer, Paul Tweed, has established a reputation for representing US celebrities who take civil actions in the European courts.

With American libel laws perceived to make it tougher for them to sue domestically, many have gone after titles who publish internationally.

Mr Tweed has already represented the pop star Britney Spears, actor Liam Neeson and musician Van Morrison.

He was granted leave at the Northern Ireland High Court to file the first in a series of lawsuits on behalf of Lopez.

Although the papers served in Belfast limited her claim to damages within the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland, similar actions are expected to be taken in London, Dublin and Paris.

Lopez is seeking damages over an article published by the National Enquirer last month entitled "Jennifer & Marc Caught Up in Heroin Scandal".

The lawyer has stressed that Lopez and Antony took grave exception to the totally false and unfounded inferences that they had been involved in, associated with or had knowledge of a serious drug scandal as alleged.

He added: "This story is totally false and unfounded."

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