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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Diaz photographer begins defence
Cameron Diaz
Diaz is one of Hollywood's highest paid actresses
The photographer accused of trying to extort money from actress Cameron Diaz over a series of topless pictures has started his defence in Los Angeles.

John Rutter's former agent insisted he was scrupulous in obtaining signed release forms from his models.

But under cross-examination, Frank Moore was unsure if he had obtained a signature from the actress.

Mr Rutter, 42, denies forging Ms Diaz's signature and attempted grand theft of $3.3m (1.9m).

The actress said in court last week the alleged extortion attempt in 2003 had left her "sick to my stomach".

Forged

The photographs were taken in 1992, before Ms Diaz's rise to fame in 1994 comedy The Mask.

Mr Rutter is accused of threatening to sell them to the highest bidder unless she agreed to pay him.

The 32-year-old actress told the court she had not signed a release form for the pictures, while expert witnesses presented evidence suggesting her signature had been forged on the document.

Shrek 2
Diaz lent her voice to the box office hits Shrek and Shrek 2

After the prosecution completed on Tuesday, Judge Michael Pastor refused a request by Mr Rutter's lawyer Mark Werksman to dismiss the case.

If convicted of the charges, Mr Rutter could face a jail sentence of up to six years.

The judge has issued a permanent injunction fobidding him from distributing the photographs.

Ms Diaz told the court she was "not ashamed" of the photographs, and said: "It "was a professional shoot. It wasn't like in a back alley."

The shoot showed her posing in leather boots and fishnet stockings in an abandoned warehouse.

Mr Rutter's lawyer has suggested Ms Diaz wanted to suppress the photos because she feared they would damage her career.

The trial is expected to last a further week.



SEE ALSO:
Diaz topless photo trial begins
14 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Judge bans sale of Diaz pictures
26 Nov 03 |  Entertainment
Man 'tried to sell Diaz photos'
20 Nov 03 |  Entertainment
Diaz photographer must stay in jail
12 Sep 03 |  Entertainment
Snapper denies Diaz extortion
29 Aug 03 |  Entertainment
Man charged over Diaz 'extortion bid'
14 Aug 03 |  Entertainment


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