Photographer Convicted in Diaz Photos Case By DANNY POLLOCK, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES - A photographer who took topless pictures of Cameron Diaz before she became a star was convicted of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury Monday for a scheme to sell the images back to the actress 11 years later for millions of dollars.
Photographer John Rutter, 42, faces up to six years in prison. Sentencing was set for Sept. 15.
The actress was a 19-year-old aspiring model when the pictures were taken in 1992. She posed in leather boots and fishnet stockings in a warehouse for the shoot and at one point held a chain attached to a male model's neck.
During the nearly two-week trial, Rutter told jurors he thought Diaz had signed a release form around the time of the shoot giving him ownership of the photos.
He said he didn't realize the form he had was forged when he offered to sell the photos to Diaz for $3.5 million shortly before the 2003 release of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."
Rutter told the jury he was simply giving the actress "right of first refusal" before offering the photos to prospective buyers worldwide.
Diaz testified that Rutter told her the buyers were "going to use this against you" by portraying her as a "bad angel" in a huge magazine spread and bus and billboard ads. When he wouldn't identify the purported buyers, she suspected blackmail and contacted authorities, who arranged a sting operation.
Rutter's theft charge was for the alleged blackmail scheme, forgery for the signature on the form and perjury for declaring in a separate civil case that the signature was authentic. That case is pending.
Judge Michael E. Pastor agreed with prosecutors that Rutter was a flight risk, revoked the photographer's bail and ordering him taken into custody.