September 26, 2003 01:00 PM

Catherine Zeta-Jones, who costars with George Clooney in the upcoming comedy “Intolerable Cruelty,” is accusing a French cosmetics company of committing a cruel act of its own, reports the Associated Press.

Zeta-Jones, 34, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles federal court seeking $15 million from the makeup firm Caudalie for running an ad campaign that says the “Chicago” Oscar winner “was spotted buying the complete Caudalie range of skincare” and had used the company’s anti-aging spa in Las Vegas.

According to her legal papers, Zeta-Jones — who happens to have an exclusive deal to promote Elizabeth Arden cosmetics — says she has never purchased such products, nor did she receive services from the spa.

She also claims that Caudalie, which reputedly specializes in vinotherapy products containing grape seed polyphenols, had no right to use her name in promotions.

Also named as defendants in the suit are the Neiman Marcus Group Inc., for spreading the promos on its Web site, and the Turnberry Place condominiums, home to Caudalie’s Las Vegas spa.

Calls for comment placed to Caudalie’s United States operation in Dallas, Neiman Marcus headquarters and the Turnberry Place condominiums by the AP were not immediately returned.

In other news involving the upscale Neiman’s, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Beverly Hills store that served as the setting in the Steve Martin novella “Shopgirl” will not be used in the upcoming movie, starring Claire Danes as the shopgirl Mirabelle and Martin as her older lover.

Instead, in what’s being perceived as a promising bonanza of publicity, the movie will be set inside the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue store (yes, the same one made famous for Winona Ryder’s shopping spree).

The Journal says Saks wooed the filmmakers by promising in-store promotions for the movie. Saks and Neiman’s are longtime rivals for fancy customers on Wilshire Boulevard.

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