Judge: Photographer Hounded Nicole Kidman

Judge: Photographer Hounded Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman arrives at court
Tim Wimborne/REUTERS/Landov

02/27/2008 AT 08:00 AM EST

An Australian judge has ruled against a celebrity photographer accused of hounding Nicole Kidman, ordering him to pay legal costs for the lawsuit.

The paparazzo, Jamie Fawcett, claimed an Australian newspaper had falsely accused him of hounding the Oscar-winning actress.

But New South Wales state Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Simpson said Wednesday that Fawcett's actions clearly "frightened" Kidman, the Associated Press reports.

"That Ms. Kidman was frightened by Mr. Fawcett's conduct cannot be doubted," Simpson said. "The evidence amply demonstrates that Mr. Fawcett's conduct was 'intrusive' and 'threatening.' "

Kidman herself testified at the trial last November, saying that Fawcett had pursued her in a dangerous 2005 car chase that left her in tears and "really, really scared." (The photographer was also accused of trying to bug the 40-year-old actress's home in Australia.)

Fawcett brought the lawsuit against Fairfax Media, which publishes the Sun-Herald newspaper in Australia. He argued that the paper defamed him in a 2005 gossip column, which claimed he wanted to "wreak havoc" on Kidman's life, the AP reports. Last year, a jury found that Fawcett was defamed by parts of the gossip item – but Fairfax appealed, leading to the most recent hearing.

After the ruling, Fawcett told reporters he was strongly considering an appeal of his own. "It is a massive economic decision for me," the photographer said, adding he was "already hurting financially."
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