`Friends' star Jennifer Aniston settles topless sunbathing photo lawsuit

Tuesday, July 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ With husband Brad Pitt at her side, ``Friends'' star Jennifer Aniston on Tuesday settled her privacy lawsuit against two magazines that published photographs of her sunbathing topless in her back yard.

``We have perfected a settlement that's confidential ... this matter has been resolved,'' U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew said after a 2 1/2-hour in-chambers meeting with attorneys. Pitt and Aniston were in court for the announcement just before noon, but they left without speaking to reporters.

There were no settlement details.

The nonjury trial in Aniston's lawsuit had been scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Aniston claimed a paparazzi photographer scaled a neighbor's wall and, using a telephoto lens, snapped photos of her ``reclining topless in her back yard, wearing only her panties.'' The pictures then were sold to magazines.

The August 2000 lawsuit against Man's World Publications Inc. and Crescent Publishing Group, demanding unspecified punitive damages, claimed misappropriation of the right of publicity and constructive trust. Aniston attorney Jay Lavely said the 33-year-old actress was prepared to testify.

Aniston has received judgments and settled claims with other U.S. and European magazines that published the photo.

The photograph appeared in European magazines before being circulated in 1999 in Celebrity Skin and High Society. Aniston claimed descriptions of the photographs that said she was in the ``raw'' and ``raunchy'' were ``highly offensive and objectionable.''

The defendants argued the photos were newsworthy.