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Variety Int'l Star of the Year: Jude Law

Fighting the price of fame

By SHARON KNOLLE

There's no escaping the tabloids in the U.K.

Despite mostly sympathetic press for Jude Law and Sadie Frost during their breakup, the sympathy didn't cover up the fact that these papers and magazines are out for blood.

In Blighty, Law and Frost are superstars, second to David and Victoria Beckham - who outdistance every other Brit star by light years, it must be said - as the country's favorite duo.

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She's the beautiful actress, fashion designer (successful label Frost French) and mom,  while he's the beautiful actor and dad. And together they were the devoted family. It's no wonder the press were waiting to jump on them, but luckily for Law and Frost, they got off pretty easy compared with other stars who've felt the British press' bite.

Big-circulation mags like Hello! and OK! chronicled the couple's travails over the past year, while the Mirror's 3am Girls - the top gossip columnists in the country - stayed fairly sympathetic toward  them both.

American newspapers duly picked up the London tabs' report of Frost's postpartum depression and the couple's subsequent split, although the coverage was much more subdued than in the UK Here, Law remains more of a rising arthouse actor than a full-fledged star, while Frost is still best known for her role in the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

Us Weekly and People reported on the couple's problems, but in smaller articles.

Perhaps the element that drew the most coverage in the American press was Law's alleged affair with his "Cold Mountain" co-star Nicole Kidman, and her successful lawsuits against the London papers that had originated the stories.

Published in Weekly Variety, Dec. 1-7, 2003



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