The man who threatened to blackmail the Charlie's Angels actress is sentenced to nearly four years

By Todd Peterson
September 16, 2005 08:00 AM

John Rutter, the photographer who took topless photos of Cameron Diaz before she became a megastar and then tried to sell the images back to her, maintained his innocence until the very end.

A California Superior Court judge sentenced the photog to three years and eight months in prison on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. Rutter told the judge that the case was a “misunderstanding” and asked that he be placed on probation.

Judge Michael E. Pastor rejected Rutter’s request and doled out the much stiffer sentence instead. Rutter was found guilty of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury in July.

The case dates back to 1992 when Diaz, then 19 years old and not yet a star, posed for a series of photos for Rutter wearing leather boots and fishnet stockings. Rutter held onto the photos until prior to the release of the 2003 film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, when he then approached Diaz and asked her to pay him $3.5 million for the pictures, the actress testified during the original trial.

Diaz said Rutter told her he was going to sell them for ads that would run during the release of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and that would portray Diaz as a “bad angel,” AP reports.

Diaz became suspicious and contacted the authorities when Rutter couldn’t say to whom he intended to sell the photos.

Rutter maintains that he never meant to blackmail Diaz and that he was only offering her the right of first refusal on the images. Diaz did not attend the sentencing.