Eveline Harvey

Eveline Harvey is nzherald.co.nz's travel editor.

Magazine under fire for faking celebrity wedding story

Kate Ritchie and Stuart Webb at last year's AFI Awards in Melbourne, Australia. The 'Woman's Day' story about their nuptials appeared to have photoshopped this image so Ritchie's dress was white. Photo / Getty Images
Kate Ritchie and Stuart Webb at last year's AFI Awards in Melbourne, Australia. The 'Woman's Day' story about their nuptials appeared to have photoshopped this image so Ritchie's dress was white. Photo / Getty Images

Australian magazine Woman's Day is under fire after it emerged that the details of its recent cover story about actress Kate Ritchie's wedding to former NRL player Stuart Webb were largely fictitious.

Ritchie, 32, is best known for playing Sally Fletcher on television soap opera Home and Away.

Since leaving the show in 2007, she has forged a second career for herself as a radio breakfast show host and she is also starring in the new Australian police drama Cops L.A.C..

Ritchie and Webb, 30, did indeed tie the knot late last month, in a private ceremony at the historic Quamby Estate in Tasmania, however they opted not to sell their wedding story to any publication.

Instead, they released a selection of images to media organisations after the event with the request that donations be given to Camp Quality, an organisation which aims to create better services for families living with cancer.

But just two days after the couple's September 25 nuptials, Woman's Day hit the shelves with what appeared to be an exclusive story on the wedding.

The multi-page spread - part of which was written as an eye-witness account - claimed, among other things, that Ritchie's former Home and Away co-star Ray Meagher was in attendance and that "dappled, golden sunlight" streamed through massive glass windows, "catching the tears pooling gently in Kate Ritchie's eyes" as she gazed at her beloved.

Except neither of these things were actually possible, according to ABC's Media Watch programme, which aired on Monday night in Australia.

Meagher, (Home and Away's 'Alf'), was in London at the time of the wedding preparing for a role in the West End production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

As for the light streaming through the windows: the official wedding photos show that the couple were in fact married in the estate's gardens, not inside.

Not even the photos of the happy couple were accurate, said Media Watch.

A file photo of Ritchie and Webb, taken last December at an awards ceremony, appeared to have been Photoshopped to create a white dress for the bride. The image was then superimposed over a picture from the estate's image library to create the illusion of the newly weds posing on a veranda as the sun set in the distance.

There has been no comment yet from Ritchie but just over a month ago she spoke to the hosts of Melbourne radio programme The Matt and Jo Show about an earlier Woman's Day story which she felt was misleading.

Under the headline: Kate Ritchie's wedding diet: How I got my best body ever, the story featured the actress in what appeared to be a wedding dress.

"That white frock that I had on [on the magazine's cover] was a photo I had taken about four or five years ago and it was a red dress at the time I was wearing it," Ritchie told the radio hosts.

"The cheeky buggers coloured it and made out as though I'd given them an exclusive interview about weight loss and how amazing my body was - which is something I would never say."

Ritchie said she had spoken with the magazine about health and fitness but she had never talked about diets "because I'm not that kind of girl".

She added that she had "never sold a story" and said she hoped no one had bought the magazine thinking they were going to get an amazing weight-loss diet.

"I've never ... been on a diet and I'm certainly not on a diet now to fit into a white frock," she said.

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