Nicole Kidman and her assets manager, John Manning, have now been dragged into a lawsuit between photographer Jamie Fawcett and a newspaper publisher.
Manning was called yesterday to give testimony in a defamation case that Fawcett filed over an article published in a January 2005 edition of the Sun Herald, according to a report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald (no relation to the Sun Herald).
The 2005 Sun Herald article allegedly conveyed Fawcett was, “Sydney’s most disliked freelance photographer,” prompting Fawcett to bring legal action against Sun Herald publisher John Fairfax Publications.
The January 2005 article claimed Fawcett planted a listening device outside of Kidman’s home.
Criminal charges were filed against the photographer following the listening device incident. Fox News reported they were later dropped.
“There was no evidence before the court that the device was ever used or caused to be used to record or listen to a conversation,” Judge Michael Grove said in his judgment, according to a report in USA Today.
Fawcett told reporters outside the court, “I’m really happy common sense has prevailed. I thought that for a long while this has just gone on and on and I’m really glad it’s over.”
In September 2006, a jury found Fawcett was defamed in the article. The current slew of hearings allow Fairfax Publications to present a defense, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
As part of their defense, Fairfax Publications subpoenaed Kidman, who will also have to appear in court.
An attorney for the actress, who is currently filming the Baz Luhrmann epic movie “Australia,” had hoped the court would allow the actress to testify during a special weekend session so as not to inconvenience some 335 people involved in the movie’s production. Judge Carolyn Simpson denied the motion.
“I think we should make enquiries about a time that will occasion the least disruption and it seems there is going to be cooperation on the part of all the parties involved to accommodate Ms. Kidman,” Fox News reported Judge Simpson told the court.