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October 3, 2003

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Zeta-Jones once again in court to protect turf


Sept. 27, 2003 12:00 AM

Some people just don't learn. Among them are people who keep hacking off Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The Chicago star has accused a French cosmetics company of unlawfully using her name to sell products on its Web site.

Zeta-Jones filed a $15 million lawsuit against Caudalie this week in federal court in Los Angeles. Also named in the suit was Neiman Marcus Group Inc.

The suit accuses Caudalie of stating that Zeta-Jones, 34, "was spotted buying the complete Caudalie range of skin care" and had used the company's anti-aging spa (whatever that is) in Las Vegas.

The actress says she has neither used those products nor taken advantage of the spa services and, furthermore, that she never gave permission to use her name for promotional purposes. The Oscar winner has an exclusive deal to promote Elizabeth Arden cosmetics.

Say this for Zeta-Jones: She knows how to win in court. The Welsh star and husband Michael Douglas have successfully sued British tabloids over photos.

In more hot water

Even though she's trying to stay on the down low, Martha Stewart must have a "kick me" sign taped to her back.

PETA is after the domestic goddess-accused insider trader, according to TV Guide Online. Whatever for? For removing live soft-shell crabs from their shells and frying them while they writhed in the pan on her show Martha Stewart Living.

PETA is considering legal action. At least one state, Connecticut, protects animals from mutilation and cruel killing.

Simon at his nastiest

Locked in a booth with himself, his favorite person, mean American Idol judge Simon Cowell has recorded 3,000 rude comments for a video-game version of the TV show, MSN Entertainment reports.

"I am delighted at how handsome I look," he says, sort of proving that he can say nice things.

A source adds, "Simon loves his role as Mr. Nasty. In the studio, he was making up many of the putdowns on the spot."

So, he has something of a talent, after all: offending people.

And scaring children. Back home in England, knickers are in a knot over a Cowell commercial for Pop Idol, the Brit version of Idol.

In the spot, the Idol ringleader eliminates a tortoise - a puppet - that doesn't sing well by blowing it up.

The ad aired right after a show that stars animal puppets singing for preschoolers, leading to complaints from dozens of viewers. Britain's Independent Television Commission says kiddies who saw the tortoise's demise were "confused and upset" by the images.

Ho, ho, ho, Jacko

Speaking of confusing and upsetting, Michael Jackson has big plans for Christmas: He wants to meet Santa Claus.

A friend told gossipers for the Scottish tabloid Daily Record that "Michael's dreamed of going to Lapland to meet Santa Claus since he was a kid.

"He's told his people to find him somewhere suitable to stay and to see when Santa Claus will be free to spend a day with him and his pals."

If Santa can visit the Island of Misfit Toys, surely he'll stop by the loony bin.

• Rhyme and reason
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• Dido returns to spotlight with 'Life'
• Madonna, the cribbed-material girl?
• Rocker takes 'Extreme' view of U.S. history
• Your weekend
• '(subject) (verb) America'

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