Madonna speaks about Michael Jackson at the start of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, September 13, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Madonna won substantial damages from a British paper on Tuesday for breaching her privacy and infringement of copyright by publishing purloined photos of her 2000 wedding to film director Guy Ritchie.

The singer, who has just completed her Sticky & Sweet year-long world tour, was not at London's High Court for the settlement of her action against the publishers of the Mail Sunday tabloid.

Her lawyer John Kelly told the court she would be donating the undisclosed damages to her Raising Malawi charity.

Kelly said the singer had gone to great pains to ensure that her wedding to her now ex-husband Ritchie in December 2000 had been wholly private.

But in 2003 an interior designer, who was working on her home in Beverly Hills, surreptitiously copied at least 27 photos from the wedding album and provided them to a third party who, in June 2008, offered to sell them to the Mail Sunday.

Kelly said that the newspaper did not purchase them at that time but waited until October 2008, when Madonna had announced that she was divorcing the British director and there was huge media interest about her marriage.

Just three days after she had announced her divorce, the paper published 10 of the photos.

Kelly said Madonna had chosen not to sell her wedding photos to the media.

It was far more important to the claimant that the privacy of the occasion was maintained, he said, adding that until the newspaper's actions, no photos of the wedding had been published anywhere in the world.

A lawyer for the Mail on Sunday said it accepted that it had been wrong and offered its sincere apologies to Madonna and her family.