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Topless club says Zeta-Jones should be flattered by image in ads

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -- Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones should be flattered her image was used for advertising and promotion on the Web site of a Nevada topless club, a spokesman for the club said Monday.

Jones is suing The Spice House, which bills itself as "Reno's friendliest topless cabaret," and its owner, Wesglow Resources, for displaying her picture on "numerous pages" of its Web site without her permission, according a lawsuit filed last week in U.S District Court in Los Angeles.

Sometimes her image was shown alongside partially nude women, and created the false impression the actress "endorsed or approved of the sexually explicit content" and could "dilute the value of her celebrity endorsement," the lawsuit says.

A designer for the club's Web site downloaded pictures of Jones from a German Web site that offered "royalty-free graphics," said Kent Wallace, the club's marketing director.

"It was an image of a beautiful woman," Wallace said. "We had no idea it was Catherine Zeta-Jones; one wouldn't think (her image) would appear in a free graphics Web site."

"She should have been flattered, as far as I'm concerned," Wallace said.

Wallace said the club immediately took down Jones' images when it was contacted by her attorney, and called the lawsuit "frivolous." He said the club hasn't retained an attorney yet but that it planned to ask a judge to dismiss it.

The star of "Chicago" and "Intolerable Cruelty" seeks unspecified damages and an order barring further use of her likeness.

Last modified: October 25. 2004 2:46PM

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