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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 12:03 GMT
Julia joins the big league
Julia Roberts with Benjamin Bratt
Julia Roberts arrives with her boyfriend Benjamin Bratt
Stars were out in force for the US premiere of the much-hyped Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts - Hollywood's highest paid actress.

Oscar hopeful Denzel Washington and celebrity couple Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were among the guests at the Los Angeles screening, which has already received rave reviews in the US.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were among the crowd
Julia Roberts takes the title role in the film, which tells the true story of a legal secretary who uncovers a pollution scandal in a small town.

She is said to give one of the performances of her career and critics are even making her a hot favourite for the 2001 Oscars.

The role has also made her the highest paid actress in Hollywood - she earnt $20m (12.5m) for the film.

Roberts, whose movie hits include Notting Hill, Runaway Bride and Pretty Woman, plays twice-divorced mother of three Erin Brockovich.

Cover-up

The real Brockovich, who also attended Tuesday night's premiere, discovered a cover-up involving contaminated water which was causing devastating illnesses in the small Californian town of Hinkley.

The real Erin Brockovich with her husband
Along with her attorney, played by British actor Albert Finney in the film, Brockovich won justice for the community, and the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in US history - $333m (208m).

Sex, Lies and Videotape director Steven Soderbergh is behind the movie, which opens in the US on 17 March.

Erin Brockovich is released in the UK on 7 April.

See also:

27 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Notting Hill premieres in Leicester Square
06 Jul 99 | Tom Brook
Hollywood's equal pay battle
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