Actress Kate Winslet has threatened to sue parents’ rights group Fathers4Justice after they planned to attack her in a campaign following reports where she said her children live with her.
The Oscar winner’s solicitors Schillings have issued Fathers4Justice with a legal letter claiming that an advert the group were about to publish regarding comments the actress made in Vogue magazine about 50/50 parenting was ‘misleading and seriously defamatory’, the organisation claimed.
The row stems from a Vogue interview with Ms Winslet in October, where the actress claimed her children had a stable home life as they live just with her and they weren’t passed ‘from pillar to post’.
Fathers4Justice have reacted to this with a photo of the 38-year-old and the slogan ‘Kate, every child deserves their father this Christmas’ in their advertising campaign.
Despite Fathers4Justice emphasising that Ms Winslet’s private arrangements did not form the basis of their advert, they have potentially unfairly used her in a campaign about fathers’ access to their children.
Now Fathers4Justice say that before the publication of their campaign, they were contacted by Winslet’s representatives and her former director husband, Sam Mendes, claiming the advert was ‘false and damaging’.
She said: â€˜People go, â€˜Oh, my God! Those poor children! They must have gone through so much.â€™ Says who?â€™ the actress told Vogue when asked about the criticism sheâ€™s received for her private life.
â€˜Theyâ€™ve always been with me,â€™ she continued. â€˜They donâ€™t go from pillar to post; theyâ€™re not flown here and there with nannies. Thatâ€™s never happened.
‘My kids donâ€™t go back and forth; none of this 50/50 time with the mums and dads â€“ my children live with me; that is it. That is it!â€™
In the interview, Winslet â€“ who moved back from New York to a 15th century manor house in West Sussex following the collapse of her marriage to Mendes â€“ insisted that while children Mia, 13, and Joe, nine, have good relationships with their fathers she is glad that they live full time with her.
Now Fathers4Justice say that before the publication of their campaign, they were contacted by Winslet’s representatives and her former director husband, Sam Mendes.
In a statement the group said ‘In earlier email correspondence with Winslet’s agent Donna Wilson, the group agreed to refrain from publishing the advert until 4pm today after representations from Kate Winsletâ€™s ex-husband Sam Mendes.
‘Donna Wilson said that Mr Mendes claimed the advert was “false and damaging”‘. the campaign group alleged.
In a statement to Fathers4Justice Mr Mendes allegedly said: ‘It is inappropriate for this organisation to involve my family and I when they know nothing of our personal circumstances.
‘Whilst I fully support fathers rights I can happily state this has never been a concern for me or my son.’
Fathers4Justice said they agreed to delay the poster in order to allow Winslet to confirm or deny whether the quotes made in a Vogue magazine interview in October were accurate.
Campaign Director Nadine Oâ€™Connor said: ‘Kate Winslet brought her children/parenting arrangements into the public domain with her comments, not Fathers4Justice.
‘We believe the content of the advert is accurate, balanced and reflective of the comments she made.
‘We do though welcome Mr Mendes comments supporting fathers’ rights and find it regrettable that instead of resolving this dispute as we had agreed, Kate Winslet has sought redress through legal action.
‘I would like to re-iterate that Fathers4Justice has not made any comment in our advert about the personal arrangements of Ms Winslet and the fathers of her children.
‘We do not know what they are and we have clearly stated that we don’t and that those arrangements are not the basis for our advert.
‘What we have referred to in the advert is a direct quote from Ms Winslet herself, a statement she put in the public domain through a lengthy self promotional interview in Octobers Vogue magazine.
‘The final copy of which Ms Winslet would have no doubt seen prior to publication.
‘Ms Winslets comments on shared parenting were then quoted worldwide by numerous newspapers, who also took issue with them.
‘Of course if Ms Winslet is now saying, through her legal team who are threatening Fathers4Justice, that the Vogue article is inaccurate and that Vogue mis-quoted her, then that is something she needs to take up with them and not us.’
Ms Winslet’s agents have been contacted for a comment.