"I wasn't ashamed to be out there like that," Diaz said at the criminal trial of John Rutter, who took the photos in 1992 and 11 years later allegedly tried to sell them back to her for $3.5 million.
Diaz also testified that a signature on a model release form giving ownership of the photos to Rutter was a forgery, reports the Associated Press. "I have never signed my name like that," said Diaz.
Rutter, 42, is charged with attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison. In his defense, Rutter's attorney, Mark Werksman, has suggested that the Shrek and Charlie's Angels star wanted to suppress photos that could damage her chances to appear in family films.
Although she fretted over her boyfriend's reaction to her posing topless, "I felt that it was a safe environment. It was a professional shoot. It wasn't like in a back alley, 'Take your shirt off,'" Diaz testified.
Confronted by Rutter with the 1992 photos in June 2003 – allegedly just days before the release of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle – Diaz admitted on the stand that she wasn't enthusiastic about releasing the pictures, although she said she believed she looked good bare breasted. "At least I have that going for me," she recalled thinking.
Diaz, 32, testified that she proposed a partnership with Rutter – allowing photo galleries to display the photos, with part of the proceeds going to charity, she said – but he refused. She then realized he was trying to blackmail her, she said, saying that he asked for $3.5 million.
Defense attorney Mark Werksman suggested Diaz was trying to unreasonably suppress Rutter's photos, though she's not been shy about posing provocatively to benefiting her career. Pointing in the courtroom to a display board with four Maxim magazine pictures showing the actress in a bikini with her Charlie's Angels costars, Werksman asked: "It was a sexy movie, right?"
"Thank you, I guess," replied Diaz.