November 19, 2007

Kidman Tells Court of Paparazzi Terror...

I was really, really scared: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman leaving the Supreme Court in Sydney today.

Nicole Kidman leaving the Supreme Court in Sydney today.
Photo: Brendan Esposito

One of Hollywood's most glamourous actresses dressed down today for her eagerly awaited appearance to give evidence in a packed Sydney court.

Wearing a staid combination of grey skirt, blush blouse done up to the neck and pink cardigan, Nicole Kidman braved a crush of photographers to make her way into the NSW Supreme Court to give evidence in a defamation case involving celebrity photographer Jamie Fawcett .

She told the court how she had been scared and in tears after an incident three years ago when Fawcett allegedly ran red lights and mounted the median strip in what she termed a "crazy'' pursuit.

Kidman said she was crouched down in the back seat during the drive to her parents' Greenwich house on January 23, 2005.

She said longtime employee John Manning had agreed to drive her, after a listening device had been found outside her Darling Point home - which she said had been a "deeply disturbing'' revelation.

During the drive Mr Manning told her they were being followed by Fawcett and another car, which worried her.

"He said that they were driving crazy and that they had run red lights and jumped the median strip,'' she said.

Mr Manning's voice had sounded "pretty panicked'' and she added: "I was frightened and I was worried about a car accident.''

Kidman, who sat with her hands folded on her lap throughout her testimony, said she had been "really, really scared'' during the trip.

It was as a result of incidents like that that she had to hire private security, she said.

"There were so many occasions, I've employed people to protect me now - 24-hour security - I don't drive myself because I'm too scared [of] being pursued,'' she told the court.

A lighter moment came when she was asked to read her police statement, and she began reading it out aloud until the judge told her just to read it by herself.

She smiled and tapped her forehead in a reflex action as might Homer Simpson, though a tad more daintily.

Last year, a jury found an article in The Sun-Herald had defamed Mr Fawcett.

The jury found the article conveyed six defamatory meanings including that Mr Fawcett was "Sydney's most disliked freelance photographer'' and had behaved in such "an intrusive and threatening manner that he had scared'' Kidman.

Justice Carolyn Simpson is conducting a hearing in which Fairfax has called witnesses seeking to establish some of the defamatory meanings are true.

No comments: