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Court frees 'prisoner' Nicole

Sydney, Jan. 27 (Reuters): Oscar-winning Australian star Nicole Kidman today said she had been a virtual prisoner in her Sydney home, fearing for her safety if she left due to the actions of two photographers staking out at her harbourside house.

Kidman won restraining orders against the photographers today after a listening device was found outside her Sydney home and after a reported high-speed car chase.

Waverley Local Court ordered Jamie Fawcett, 43, and Ben McDonald, 32, not to approach Kidman at her home or go within 20 metres of her harbourside home at Darling Point.

The two Sydney based freelance photographers had been staking out at the house since Kidman returned on Sunday to begin filming a new movie, Eucalyptus.

Kidman said in a statement that she was grateful the court had granted the restraining orders because she had been afraid to leave her home.

'Nicole would like to make it clear that she acknowledges she is a public figure and that reporters and photographers have a job to do and she respects that,' said the statement from Kidman's Sydney publicist Wendy Day.

'However, these are specific actions against two individuals who, over a period of time, have caused her to feel threatened, intimidated and unable to leave her home without fearing for her safety.'

A listening device was left across the road from her home on Sunday in what police are investigating as a possible bugging attempt.

Lawyers for the photographers told the court that their clients denied involvement in either incident. Neither the photographers nor Kidman appeared in court.

The orders will be in force at least till February 11, when the case returns to court.

Security film shot from the house showed a man planting the device. Police have said several paparazzi media were around at the time.

 

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