Cameron Diaz sues to block ''private'' photos. She claims a photographer is selling her pre-stardom snapshots without her authorization

By Gary Susman
July 16, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Cameron Diaz: Franziska Krug/Action Press/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The photographer who shot ”private modeling” photos of Cameron Diaz a decade ago, before she was a star, says he was just offering the ”Charlie’s Angels” star an opportunity to buy the photos before anyone else does. Diaz’s camp, however, saw the offer as illicit. Now, her publicist says, she’s suing John Rutter to block him from selling the photos to anyone, alleging that he forged her signature on the release form that he says waives her rights to the pics.

”Cameron Diaz has filed a legal action, seeking an injunction regarding photographs taken at a private modeling session over a decade ago,” her spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. ”In the lawsuit, Diaz claims she did not sign a photo release and that the release produced by the photographer is a forgery. A criminal investigation is pending.”

Rutter says he recently offered Diaz a first-look option to buy the snaps, which he shot when she was 21 and had yet to break through with ”The Mask,” before offering them to other bidders. He told the New York Daily News that he had been close to a deal with the actress. ”At no time were there ever threats or ultimatums,” he told the News on Monday. ”It was lawyers talking with lawyers.” But on June 30, investigators from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office raided his apartment. The D.A.’s office confirmed to Reuters that unspecified ”evidence” had been seized, but it has not filed criminal charges against Rutter.