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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Harvey Levin

Aired June 2, 2003 - 20:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Celebrities are spending quite a bit of time in court. From Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas suing over their wedding pictures in "Hello!" magazine to supermodel Naomi Campbell's battle with "The Daily Mirror" for publishing a photo of her leaving what the paper reported was a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. And then there's Barbra, Barbra Streisand $10 million lawsuit. She's apparently upset because this Web site posted a high resolution aerial photograph of her Malibu mansion.
Joining us from Los Angeles is Harvey Levin. He's the executive producer of "Celebrity Justice" and more to the point, an attorney. Harvey, thanks for being with us. Does Barbra have a case?

HARVEY LEVIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well I have to tell you, I don't think so. I think what she's arguing is a law in California that basically protects stars from paparazzi. But the way I read this law, the paparazzi have to use a telephoto lens and actually shoot the star. Here, somebody shot her home. You don't see her anywhere. And I don't think that's protected under the law, especially since it is part of the California coastline.

COOPER: It is also shot -- it is not shooting her home only. They shot the entire California coastline for, they say for environmental reasons to show the impact of housing and the like on the coastline. So it would seem it is not the same as like a "Hello!" magazine kind of thing. But these figures are often outrageously huge, $10 million. Why do celebrities sue for so much money?

LEVIN: Well, partly because they can and partly because they're saying their damages are a lot bigger than yours or mine if somebody breaches our privacy. They're saying, look, our security is on the line, lots of people want to get at us. And they're saying this becomes a high ticket item.

And I think part of it, Anderson, is they want to inhibit people from doing the same thing in the future. Part of this is just they want to put an end to it and some stars have successfully done that by the high-profile lawsuits.

COOPER: They also want to control their image and the money that they can make off that image. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, their wedding wasn't some little private affair. It was photographed by an alternative -- another British magazine which has paid a gazillion dollars, I don't know how many million or a million at least to photograph it and get exclusive photographs. LEVIN: You know, that's a really interesting case because ultimately they won. And what the court said is, look the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas made a deal with a magazine called "OK!". Even though it was a high-profile wedding, they said, look, you're going to get the exclusive photos. "Hello!" magazine, a competing magazine knew about this and they kind of sneaked in and undid that deal.

And the court is saying, no, if you know about the deal, you to respect it. And what it is going to do is it is going to reduce the cost of people who are trying to bootleg these pictures in the future.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff. Harvey Levin, "Celebrity Justice," appreciate you joining us tonight, thank you.

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