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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 09:33 GMT
Judge bans sale of Diaz pictures
Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz has emerged as one of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood
A photographer has been banned from selling topless photographs of actress Cameron Diaz taken in 1992.

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

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Alan B Haber granted a permanent injunction against their sale and banned Mr Rutter from owning or publicising the photos.

Mr Rutter, 41, faces attempted theft, forgery and perjury charges.

He is due to appear in court on 8 December.

The pictures were seized by police during a raid on Mr Rutter's apartment.

The pictures of Ms Diaz, 31, were taken before she became a star.

Japanese use

Mr Rutter's lawyer, Ron Richards, has said that Ms Diaz voluntarily agreed to the pictures and that Mr Rutter has a signed release form from her and the right to sell the pictures.

But prosecutors say Mr Rutter allegedly told the star the pictures would be used on billboards, buses and kiosks in Japan to publicise her recent film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

They also say Mr Rutter faked Ms Diaz's signature on a release form.

Mr Rutter says he rang Ms Diaz's lawyers in June offering them first refusal over the photos. Soon afterwards, he says, police raided his house and seized the photos.

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

Some of the pictures are in the possession of the Los Angeles prosecutors, while others are in a safety deposit box, Mr Richards said.

The lawyer added he thought the injunction was unfair and against Rutter's right to freedom of expression. "We want the media to see the photos to clear his name."

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