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News, Nov. 21: Aniston Settles Topless Photo Suit, Spector Pleads Innocent, Ang Lee To Helm Gay Western, More...

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Nov 21, 2003 | 1:20pm EST

Top Story: Jennifer Aniston Settles Topless Photo Suit

Jennifer Aniston will receive $550,000 in the settlement of her lawsuit against a photographer who admitted to illegally distributing photos of her sunbathing topless, The Associated Press reports. Aniston settled a lawsuit in 2002 against two European magazines, Celebrity Skin and High Society, for publishing the photos in 1999. In the suits, Aniston, 34, had claimed a "stalkerazzi" snapped photos of her "reclining topless in her backyard." But in Thursday's settlement, Aniston accepted photographer Francois Navarre's contention that he was not the trespasser who scaled the wall of her home to shoot the photos with a high-powered telephoto lens. He apologized for transmitting the photographs to an Italian photo agent, who in turn sold them for publication in Italy, and agreed to pay the Friends star $100,000, while his insurance carrier will pay $450,000.

Phil Spector Pleads Innocent

Record producer Phil Spector pleaded innocent Thursday to murdering B-movie actress Lana Clarkson, Reuters reports. Clarkson, 40, was found lying in a pool of blood last February in the foyer of Spector's Alhambra, California, home. Spector, 63, was arrested soon after the shooting, but has remained free on $1 million bail. Represented by attorney Robert Shapiro, the producer has denied the allegations and was quoted as telling Esquire that "she kissed the gun.''

Paris Hilton Cancels Letterman Appearance

Socialite Paris Hilton, star of the upcoming Fox reality series The Simple Life, is pulling out of her Nov. 26 interview on David Letterman's Late Show. Hilton's spokesman told the AP Thursday the 22-year-old was canceling all planned media appearances promoting her upcoming TV show because of all the attention she's received from the erotic home video she made three years ago with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon. "All I want to say to Paris is you're being led down the wrong path," Letterman said while taping Thursday's show. "You come on this show, by god, we'll make you a hero."

Magazine Brands Eminem a Racist

The Source magazine is branding rapper Eminem a racist over a decade-old song in which calls black girls "dumb," the AP reports. The tape was provided to the magazine by "three white hip-hop fans from Detroit who were peers of Eminem in the early '90s, at the time of the recording," Source said in a press release Tuesday. The song features Eminem saying: "Black girls are dumb, and white girls are good chicks." There also is another brief song in which a rapper whom the magazine identifies as Eminem uses the n-word. Eminem acknowledged he made the song disparaging black women but said in a statement it was "something I made out of anger, stupidity and frustration when I was a teenager."

Judge Orders Trial Over Diaz Pics

A judge ruled Friday that Los Angeles photographer John Rutter must stand trial for allegedly using topless photos of Cameron Diaz in an attempt to extort $3.3 million from her. According to Reuters, Rutter is scheduled to be arraigned on felony charges of attempted extortion, attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury Dec. 8. Rutter claims he has a signed release and the right to sell the pictures, which were taken during a 1992 photo session, but Diaz said her signature was forged. "This wasn't simply a case of someone calling and saying, 'Hey, I just came across these photos from 11 years ago, do you want them?'" Superior Court Judge Michael Luros said. "This was someone saying, 'Pay me $3 million or else.'"

Charges Against Coldplay Singer Dropped

Australian authorities dropped malicious damages and property damages charges against Coldplay singer Chris Martin on Friday, Reuters reports. Martin had been charged with damaging a photographer's car windshield after having his picture taken in July while surfing near Byron Bay, where the British singer was performing at a music festival. Martin was in Australia at the time with his girlfriend, actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

David Spade To Guest Star on 8 Simple Rules

David Spade has signed on to do a multiple-episode guest shot on ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spade will play a relative of the family at the center of the comedy. The show, which dealt with the death of John Ritter's character in an hour-long episode that aired earlier this month, is on hiatus until after Thanksgiving, but production on Spade's episodes will probably begin next month. A spokeswoman for producer Touchstone TV said Wednesday it is unclear when the episodes will air.

Bob Barker Celebrates 80th Birthday on TV

Bob Barker, host the of the longest-running game show in television will preside over The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular, a CBS special airing Dec. 13, at 8 p.m. EST--a day after Barker's 80th birthday. During the show, contestants will have a chance to spin the Big Wheel for $1 million and showcase showdown winner will win the largest amount in cash and prizes ever won by a single contestant in the The Price is Right's32-year history. According to the AP, the show will air videotaped greetings from CBS show stars, including Ray Romano, David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Ted Danson and Charlie Sheen.

Role Call: Ang Lee To Helm Gay Western

As a follow-up to the Hollywood blockbuster The Hulk, director Ang Lee will helm Brokeback Mountain, a gay western about a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy who find themselves unexpectedly falling in love in the plains of Wyoming and Texas in the 1960s. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is based on a story by Pulitzer prize-winning author E Annie Proulx.

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