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Diaz Topless Trial Starts Today

LOS ANGELES – “Charlie’s Angels” star Cameron Diaz is expected to be a star witness this week in the trial of a photographer she accused of trying to “steal” kinky topless photos she posed for before she became famous.

Jury selection is slated to begin today in the trial of John Rutter, 42, who is charged with attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury stemming from his 2003 bid to sell the racy photos and video he shot in 1992.

Diaz, 32, who rose to fame in the 1994 hit film “The Mask” with Jim Carrey, claims she never signed a “model release” form to allow Rutter to sell or publish the sexy pictures.

The document Rutter produced with her purported signature is a forgery, she says. The perjury charge stems from statements Rutter made about the release form in a related civil case.

But Rutter’s defense lawyer says the charges are a sham. “Cameron Diaz used her wealth, power and fame to crush John Rutter and bury those photos,” said attorney Mark Werksman.

The actress is expected to take the stand as early as tomorrow, Werksman said.

The legal wrangling began in 2003 when Rutter contacted Diaz and asked if she wished to “buy back” the raunchy S-and-M-themed pictures for $3.5 million.

She reported the lensman’s sales pitch to law enforcement and claimed he was trying to extort her.

But Werksman says Rutter had other interested buyers in the European magazine market and was just trying to “be a nice guy” and give Diaz first dibs.

“There was never any extortion,” Werksman says. Rutter believes his assistants properly obtained Diaz’s signature on the release form, Werksman says. If convicted, Rutter faces more than five years in prison.


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