'Stalker' sues Nicole

2002-05-07 08:40
Los Angeles - A man accused by Hollywood star Nicole Kidman of stalking her has launched a $200 million lawsuit against the actress and more than 80 reporters and news companies, court documents showed on Monday.

Matthew Hooker filed the libel action in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday after the Australian star a year ago filed a restraining order against Hooker to keep him away from her and her children.

The actress claimed Hooker (41) was "stalking me and my family and I am fearful for our safety and security," according to her May 7, 2001 application for a restraining order.

A Los Angeles judge granted Kidman an injunction ordering Hooker to stay away from the ex-wife of superstar Tom Cruise for three years.

But Hooker alleged in his 123-page suit that the allegations against him were made "for the express purpose of providing defendants with publicity for the actress and the two films Moulin Rouge and The Others."

Hooker also claimed that news stories about the legal tussle were inaccurate as they portrayed him as "mentally unstable or disturbed...a threat to women everywhere...dangerous and violent ... [and] a perverted stalker."

He alleged that Kidman and the news organisations had received "ill-gotten profits from the enormous amount of very valuable publicity" that the story generated.

He named a host of news companies, including the New York Daily News and its boss, News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch, his 20th Century Fox company, the Los Angeles Times, India's Hindustan Times, Microsoft Corp and its chief Bill Gates and Britain's Guardian newspaper as co-defendants.

Handsome, cultured

Hooker claimed in the suit that, far from being an unstable stalker, he was in fact a "handsome, cultured [and] civilised" man. His website said he would run for the office of the president of the United States in 2004.

Hooker demanded $20 million in damages as well as "all of the gross receipts" from Kidman's two 2001 hit films, the musical Moulin Rouge, for which she won a best actress Oscar nomination, and spooky thriller The Others.

Kidman alleged in her application for a restraining order last year that Hooker had turned up at her home twice and was sending her letters, the court papers showed at the time.

"He has mailed me letters and contacted me by phone," she claimed, adding that he had allegedly offered to tutor her children, Conor and Isabella, in order to give him a chance to get to know Kidman."

Kidman's celebrated 10-year marriage to Cruise had collapsed just four months before she applied for the restraining order. The pair were divorced in August of last year. - Sapa-AFP

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