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Zeta-Jones' Beauty Beef

by Lia Haberman
Sep 25, 2003, 10:30 AM PT

Don't mess with Catherine Zeta-Jones. The Welsh babe is proving to be one tough cookie when crossed--as the paparazzi have previously discovered.

The latest object of her ire? A French cosmetics company that she accuses of unlawfully using her name to sell products on its Website.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

Zeta-Jones filed a $15 million lawsuit against Caudalie Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court. (Incidentally, the filing comes as she and hubby Michael Douglas celebrate their respective birthdays today--she's 34; he's 59.)

The suit accuses Caudalie, which specializes in vinotherapy products containing grape-seed polyphenols, of boasting that Zeta-Jones "was spotted buying the complete Caudalie range of skincare."

The actress denies using the French company's products or taking advantage of their spa services and says she never gave permission to use her name in promoting the beauty line.

There's probably a method to her latest legal act--the Chicago star is likely aiming to clarify her makeup loyalty due to the big-bucks contract she inked with cosmetics purveyor Elizabeth Arden last year.

Also named in the suit are the Neiman-Marcus Group Inc. and another company that owns Turnberry Place in Vegas, a group of luxury condos that include a Caudalie spa on site.

Zeta-Jones alleges that Neiman-Marcus conspired with Claudalie to promote the actress' so-called interest in the products. She accuses the department store of "online exploitation," after it published an interview on its Website with Caudalie founder Mathilde Thomas, who named Zeta-Jones as one of the company's Beverly Hills clients who purchase their skin care products at Neiman-Marcus.

The condo company is also accused of listing Zeta-Jones' name in promotional literature as a Caudalie fan.

References to Zeta-Jones have since been removed from Caudalie and Neiman's Websites, but at least one beauty Website still touts the actress as a fan of Caudalie's Slimming Treatment Oil, along with supermodel Carla Bruni, actress Isabella Adjani, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Madonna, Donatella Versace and Yasmin Le Bon.

 Related Links
News: Catherine and Michael pics--round 2
News: Catherine and Michael, smoking mad
News: Zeta-Jones' fat testimony

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