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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July, 2005, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Jury selected in Diaz photo trial
Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz is among Hollywood's highest paid actresses
Jury selection has begun in the trial of a photographer accused of attempting to steal topless photographs of actress Cameron Diaz in August 2003.

John Rutter, 42, is charged with attempted theft, as well as forgery and perjury after he allegedly faked Ms Diaz's signature on a release form.

A panel of 12 will sit in Los Angeles, with Ms Diaz expected to testify.

The judge warned prospective jurors to avoid media coverage of the trial. Mr Rutter denies the charges.

Alleged extortion

The attempted grand theft charge alleges that Mr Rutter tried to illegally take money and personal property worth more than $400 (226) from the 32-year-old actress.

The photographs were taken in 1992, before Diaz became famous in films like 1994's The Mask and There's Something About Mary in 1998.

In 2003, Rutter, from Venice, California, allegedly tried to extort $3.3m (1.9m) from the star by threatening to sell the pictures in Europe.

Ms Diaz claims Mr Rutter did not own the rights to the photos and forged her signature on a release form authorising their potential sale and distribution .

Mr Rutter was arrested on 12 August 2003 and later that month was denied release from jail and ordered to stay away from Ms Diaz.

In November 2003, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alan B Haber granted a permanent injunction against the sale of the photographs, and banned Mr Rutter from owning or publicising the photos.

Judge bans sale of Diaz pictures
26 Nov 03 |  Showbiz
Man 'tried to sell Diaz photos'
20 Nov 03 |  Showbiz
Snapper denies Diaz extortion
29 Aug 03 |  Showbiz

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