MADONNA has won a privacy case against the publishers of the Daily Mail after its website, MailOnline, published details of her two Malawian adopted daughters before the adoption process was complete.

The singer and actress accepted an undisclosed amount in damages from Associated Newspapers for a “serious invasion of privacy. The group also agreed to pay Madonna’s legal costs. The High Court in London was told that MailOnline had endangered the adoption process. It published the story in January, giving details of Madonna’s pending adoption of two four-year-old twins. The article revealed the girls’ names, race, age, the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi, and also that they were the subject of applications for adoption by Madonna.

Madonna’s lawyer Jenny Afia told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies: “Under Malawian law and equivalent provisions under English law, there are rules around identifying children who are in the process of being adopted, principally for their own security and welfare.”

The solicitor told the High Court that the article had caused Madonna “considerable personal distress”.

Afia added: “The MailOnline published it at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm.

“Their actions could, in her view, have threatened the integrity and/or outcome of the adoption process which would have had potentially life-changing implications for the girls, and for Madonna and her family. When the singer was adopting Stella and Estere in February – they were named by her after the adoption was complete – she asked the media to respect their privacy.

Madonna’s lawyer said she will donate the damages to the Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery in Malawi, which is named after her other adopted daughter from the African country.

The lawyer said that Madonna “is pleased that at least some good can come out of the situation”.