Cameron Diaz Takes the Witness Stand
In a Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday, Cameron Diaz, wearing a brown top and pants, giggled on the witness stand as she outlined her early modeling career.
"I had four pictures in my book, and I went to Japan. Didn't work," Diaz said, according to the Associated Press. After she landed a modeling job in Japan, she said, "I was like, yes."
The testimony from the 32-year-old actress was part of a criminal trial of a photographer accused of blackmailing the Shrek star by offering to sell back topless photos he had taken of her in 1992, before she became famous.
The defendant, photographer John Rutter, 42, is charged with one count each of attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury. If convicted, Rutter could face up to six years in prison.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren told the jury in his opening statement Wednesday that Rutter waited until Diaz's career blossomed before confronting her with photos from the May 1992 session, when the actress was 19. Walgren said prospective buyers could have paid Rutter up to $5 million, but the defendant asked Diaz for up to $3.5 million, AP reports.
Rutter's attorney, Mark Werksman, countered: "This is a case of a rich and powerful movie star who through this prosecution is seeking to crush and destroy John Rutter." Werksman said Rutter made his initial approach to Diaz in 2003 "fully expecting in good faith to make a deal with her."
Werksman portrayed Diaz as an actress ashamed of her past who was able to persuade the district attorney to do her bidding because of her celebrity status.
Prosecutors contend that Rutter came to Diaz holding a bogus model release. "Defendant presented a forged document and, in essence, attempted to blackmail her out of her money," Walgren said.
Outside the courtroom Wednesday, Rutter's attorney Werksman said: "John Rutter had every right to sell those photographs to everyone, including he could sell them back to Cameron Diaz. And if the model release was forged, he didn't know it, and he thought it was genuine."
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