A National Enquirer cover story claiming that Cameron Diaz was cheating on longtime squeeze Justin Timberlake — suggesting the actress was romantically involved with one of the producers behind her MTV reality series "Trippin' " — could cost the supermarket tabloid more than $20 million.
According to Los Angeles Superior Court documents obtained by "Celebrity Justice," attorneys for both Diaz and "Trippin' " producer Shane Nickerson filed a joint lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the Enquirer of slander, libel and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional stress.
The suit seeks at least $20 million in damages — that's $10 million apiece for both Diaz and Nickerson — for the article that ran late last month. According to court documents, the suit claims that the published story has not only damaged both of their reputations, but also placed needless strains on their personal relationships: Diaz with Timberlake, and Nickerson with his wife and mother-in-law.
The tabloid ran 25 grainy photos — shot by paparazzi Oscar Duran — of Diaz and Nickerson, some of which depicted the two hugging. The pictures were accompanied by an article titled "Cameron Caught Cheating," as well as several captions insinuating that the two were seen locking lips and "making out big time." The piece further accuses Diaz and Nickerson of carrying on an adulterous affair, and provides supposed eyewitness accounts to support the claims.
The lawsuit names the National Enquirer, three of the tabloid's scribes and Duran as defendants, and claims the paper profited greatly from the article.
According to The Miami Herald, a spokesperson for Diaz issued a statement soon after the paper hit newsstands, calling the story "false and salacious."
"This is a case of a tabloid colluding with the stalkerazzi in an attempt to distort the truth and mislead the public," the statement read. "They have intentionally tried to manipulate the photographic images in such a way that would support their false and salacious story, when in fact they do not. [Nickerson] is a friend and associate of Cameron's. ... Because of these lies and misrepresentations, he and his family are being hounded and harassed by the tabloid media. There is absolutely no romantic relationship between them whatsoever, contrary to these sad, mean-spirited attempts to create drama where none exists."
Nickerson, himself, has been fairly vocal about the Enquirer's allegations in recent weeks, by way of his blog, Nickerblog.com.
"I told my wife, 'One of the reasons this is so stupid is because you know that if I was hooking up with [Cameron], you'd have been the first one I high-fived,' " he wrote in one post.
The suit is requesting that the matter be resolved before a civil court jury. Diaz's attorneys are expected to file a second lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun, who published the same photos with a similar article which also accused the actress of philandering.
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