By Alison M. Rosen
Updated September 12, 2003 11:00 AM

A stash of photos taken of Cameron Diaz before she became famous is at the center of a trial set to start today in Santa Monica Superior Court.

Photographer John Rutter, 41, in jail in place of $250,000 bail, is accused of trying to extort $3.3 million from the “Charlie’s Angels” star, the Associated Press reports.

Last month, Rutter’s release was denied and he was ordered not to come near Diaz. He faces felony counts of attempted extortion, attempted grand theft, perjury and forgery.

Rutter denies any wrongdoing. On June 23, he claims he contacted Diaz’s attorneys and offered them first right of refusal for the pictures before trying to sell them to various media outlets. Soon after, his apartment was raided and he was arrested on Aug. 12.

A spokeswoman for Diaz, 31, says she never signed a photo release form and that the one Rutter claims was hers was a forgery.

The photos, which Diaz’s lawyers have declined to describe, remain in a safe deposit box. An injunction is being sought to keep them from being made public.