Date: 2nd December 2003

Paltrow beats Madonna to Godmother role

Gwyneth Paltrow has beaten Madonna to the role of playing a London diamond thief.

Both stars wanted the rights to the story of Joan Hannington, known as the Godmother - who stole 3 million of jewels from London's top jewellers in the 1980s.

But it's Gwyneth who is now set to bring the tale, based on Joan's autobiography I Am What I Am, to the big screen.

And Hannington, who spent just 18 months in prison for her crimes, is happy Paltrow won out, reports the Channel 4 website.

She says: "They wanted Guy Ritchie to buy it, so Madonna could play me. Number one, she can't act. Two, she can't do a Cockney accent and Gwyneth can.

She's really happy to be playing the part and she can't put the book down, apparently. I'm happy that she's doing it. I think she will do me justice. She's very lucky to be playing me."

Source: Press Release