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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Diaz seeks photo ban
Cameron Diaz
Diaz was a model before taking up acting
Actress Cameron Diaz has begun legal action in Los Angeles to stop the release of photographs taken of her at a private modelling session before she was famous.

Diaz says she never gave photographer John Rutter permission to make the pictures public and that he has forged her signature on a photo release document.

But Mr Rutter says he contacted Diaz's lawyers to offer them the photos before offering them to any media outlets.

Brad Cafarelli, the actress's publicist, issued a statement on Tuesday but would not say what the nature of the photos was.

"Cameron Diaz has filed a legal action seeking an injunction regarding photographs taken at a private modelling session over a decade ago," Mr Cafarelli said.

"In the lawsuit, Diaz claims she did not sign a photo release and that the release produced by the photographer is a forgery," Mr Cafarelli said. "A criminal investigation is pending."

Liu, Diaz and Barrymore
Diaz is a star of Charlie's Angels

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office confirmed police had searched Mr Rutter's flat as a part of a continuing investigation.

She added that items had been removed from Mr Rutter's home.

No charges have been filed against Mr Rutter

Mr Rutter told the US news programme Inside Edition he had contacted the actress's lawyers.

"This was a negotiation for a right of first refusal with Cameron Diaz's lawyers," Mr Rutter said in a statement.

"A few hours after her lawyers offered to buy the photos my place was raided."

Diaz, 30, worked as a model before becoming one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses.

She made her feature film debut opposite Jim Carrey in The Mask.

She has since starred in a string of hits, including My Best Friend's Wedding, There's Something About Mary and Charlie's Angels.

The recently released Full Throttle - the sequel to the first Angels movie - is currently riding high in the UK box office charts.

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