Celebs in Court
Taking the witness stand in a Los Angeles courtroom on July 14, actress Cameron Diaz said she "wasn't ashamed to be out there like that," referring to the topless photos she posed for early on in her career. Diaz testified at the trial of John Rutter, the photographer who took the shots in 1992 and—according to Diaz's allegations—used them to blackmail her in June 2003 for $3.5 million. Diaz, 32, also testified that her signature was forged on a form giving Rutter ownership of the photos. Rutter, 42, faces up to six years in prison for attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury. 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."
A Touchy Subject
Facing up to a year in jail on misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching, actor Christian Slater refused a plea bargain deal on July 14 that would have let him off with three days of community service in exchange for a guilty plea to second-degree harassment.
The case stems from an incident that took place in Manhattan in the wee hours of May 31. Prosecutors allege that after arguing with his girlfriend in a small grocery store, Slater, 35, walked up behind a woman and grabbed her buttocks as she was buying a soda. The woman flagged down police and identified Slater shortly thereafter as the man who assaulted her. The actor is now scheduled to return to court on Sept. 19.
Polanski: Fair game?
Last week, during testimony in his libel suit against Vanity Fair, director Roman Polanski admitted to sleeping with several women shortly after the 1969 murder (by Manson clan members) of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate. But Polanski, 71, who fled to Europe in 1978 after being charged with statutory rape in L.A., told a London jury that VF's report that he tried to seduce a "Swedish beauty" while en route to Tate's funeral was "all lies." He added, "I don't think you could find a man who could behave in such a way." Conceding some discrepancies, the magazine stands by the story.