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Judge tells Kidman to settle own problems

Restraining order against photographers has expired
/ Source: The Associated Press

Nicole Kidman and two freelance photographers accused of stalking the Oscar-winning actress should try to resolve their problems out of court like “intelligent people,” a judge said Friday.

Last month, Kidman won temporary restraining orders against Jamie Fawcett, 43, and Ben McDonald, 32, for allegedly stalking her and planting an electronic listening device outside her Sydney home.

The actress, who returned to Australia in January to film her new movie “Eucalyptus,” claimed their aggressive pursuit of photographs made her feel like a prisoner in her luxurious harborside mansion. Kidman’s chief bodyguard said he believed the bug was planted to intercept conversations that would tip off photographers to her whereabouts.

The restraining order against Fawcett and McDonald — who were told not to stalk or harass the actress, and not to come within 66 feet of her home — expired on Friday when the photographers appeared before the court for a second time. Kidman, 37, has not attended either hearing.

Magistrate Lee Gilmour of Sydney’s Waverley Local Court told the photographers she was not prepared “to waste any more of the court’s time,” and ordered them to sit down with police and, if necessary, contact Kidman to sort out their problems like “intelligent people.”

“There’s no issue that these gentlemen are quite entitled to go about their business and Ms. Kidman seems able to accept that,” the judge said. But she said they should try to avoid a “lengthy, unnecessary hearing” and settle the matter out of court.

Later Friday, Gilmour removed the restraining orders on Fawcett and McDonald, allowing the men to photograph Kidman in public away from her harborside mansion, so long as they do not stalk, harass or intimidate her.