Thursday, February 22, 2007

Blogger sued over topless Aniston

A Hollywood film studio is suing a gossip blog for publishing topless photographs of Jennifer Aniston.

Universal City Studios Productions claimed the images on the Perez Hilton site were stolen and illegally copied.

The case, filed in a Californian court, seeks a bar on further publication and the return of the pictures, which were taken during the making of a film.

A lawyer for Mario Lavandeira, aka Hilton, who runs the popular celebrity blog, said he had "done nothing wrong".

The pictures were allegedly "misappropriated and illegally copied" during production or post-production of Aniston's 2006 romantic comedy The Break-Up, the studio said.

Their legal action claims Mr Lavandeira, 28, "posted all or parts of the stolen footage from the motion picture on his website".

The studio wants an injunction on future use of the picture and a court order "directing the US Marshal to seize" the copyrighted material.

Universal is also demanding a jury trial and monetary damages to be determined by the court.

A statement from Mr Lavandeira's lawyer said: "It is unfortunate that Universal has chosen to bring this lawsuit as our client has done nothing wrong.

"The use of a portion of a single photograph that was previously published on numerous websites, for the purpose of commentary and satire, constitutes fair use."

Aniston 'disdain'

The blogger immediately removed the shot as soon as he learned that it was allegedly stolen, it adds.

"Our client questions whether this lawsuit was in fact motivated by Ms Aniston as a result of her disdain for viewpoints expressed about her on the site."

The legal action follows a separate case last year, when Aniston sued celebrity photographer Peter Brandt.

She claiming he invaded her privacy by using a telephoto lens to photograph her inside her home when she was topless or partly dressed.

The pair reached a "confidential" and "amicable" settlement in September, Aniston's lawyer Jay Lavely said.

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