Keira Knightley has succeeded in making a British tabloid eat its words.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star won close to $6,000 in libel damages from the Daily Mail Thursday, after suing the publication in January for suggesting that she was dangerously thin and was inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
Knightley, 22, took legal action after the newspaper ran a photo of her in a bikini under the headline: "If Pictures Like This One of Keira Carried a Health Warning, My Darling Daughter Might Have Lived." The accompanying story featured an interview with a woman whose teenage daughter died of anorexia.
"The article could be interpreted to have asserted that the claimant bore personal responsibility for causing the tragic death of Sophie Mazurek, a 19-year-old, who battled with anorexia," Knightley's lawyer Simon Smith told London's High Court.
Smith said that the insinuations were "entirely false" and "deeply offensive" to the actress, particularly as she has spoken publicly in the past about members of her family having struggled with the disease.
In a recent interview with British Elle, Knightley said that she comes by her slim physique naturally, and that the photos that sparked the eating disorder rumors were taken right after she had completed the physically grueling Pirates of the Caribbean shoot.
"It appeared as if I were promoting something when I absolutely was not. I am thin because that's what I am, and I was thinner at that point because of the work I do. Nothing else," Knightley said.
Smith stressed to the court that Knightley was not a "fitness fanatic," and that her weight has never fluctuated by more than a few pounds in her adult life.
"She considers it more important and has spoken of her opinion of the need to be healthy and happy," he said.
An attorney for Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Daily Mail, said the company was sorry for causing the actress distress and embarrassment and that it accepted that she bore no responsibility for the teen's death.
Knightley's mother, Sharman Macdonald, was present for the ruling and told reporters her daughter would donate her winnings, plus an additional $4,000, to BEAT, a charity that aids people with eating and mental disorders.
Fresh off her court victory, Knightley is poised for more good news with this weekend's debut of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The latest film in the swashbuckling franchise is widely expected to open at number one at the box office.