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Judge dismisses Streisand's $10M suit

Streisand
Barbra Streisand

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LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A Los Angeles judge Wednesday dismissed a $10 million lawsuit filed by Barbra Streisand against a multimillionaire who posted photos of her Malibu estate on a Web site documenting erosion along the California coast.

A longtime environmentalist, Streisand sued Kenneth Adelman in May accusing him of violating California's anti-paparazzi law and her privacy rights. She demanded that Adelman remove her name and the photo of her estate from his Web site, (http://www.californiacoastline.org).

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman Wednesday ruled that the diva's lawsuit chilled Adelman's free speech rights on a matter of public concern, and ordered the "Yentl" star to pay his legal bills.

The judge noted that Adelman had not tried to photograph Streisand personally and had not even known that he was capturing her estate on film when he snapped the photos from 2,700 feet away.

Goodman also noted that similar photos were published in magazines and on the Internet before Adelman took his aerial shots.

Streisand's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a message posted on his Web site, Adelman said the ruling sends a message to "a celebrity who believes her personal interests are more important (than) the public's constitutional right to free speech."

Adelman, 40, retired after selling his TGV software company to Cisco Systems for $115 million in 1996 and Network Alchemy to Nokia for $335 million four years later.

He and his wife then began an aerial photography survey of the 1,150-mile California coastline using his helicopter and a high-resolution camera.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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