A Los Angeles judge issued a restraining order Tuesday temporarily blocking the public release of a 15-minute sex video that was made in private more than two years ago by Irish-born actor Colin Farrell and his then-girlfriend: model, actress and Playboy magazine's Miss January 2002, Nicole Narain.
The judge's action came only a day after attorneys for Farrell filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court to try to prevent the release of the video of the couple performing various sex acts.
"We became aware that there was an attempt to basically get this tape out there in the marketplace by having various providers get it out on porn websites," said Martin A. Singer, Farrell's attorney. "It is unlawful to exploit a videotape without the written consent of both participants."
Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe scheduled a hearing for Aug. 10 on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would prevent the sale or release of the sex tape pending a trial.
Named as defendants along with Narain were David Hans Schmidt, a Phoenix-based publicist and agent, and Paul Nash, also a Phoenix resident, who is described in the suit as the marketing director of Internet Commerce Group, which owns pornographic websites. The suit alleges that the defendants intended to "commercially exploit" the tape showing the couple "in various acts of copulation."
In a phone interview Tuesday, Schmidt said he was "caught flat-footed" by the suit because only two months ago he posed for a photograph shaking hands with Singer. That moment came after Schmidt brokered a deal to return dozens of private photographs, including some explicit nude photos, that a workman claimed to have come across in a Dumpster at Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx's Las Vegas home. (Coincidentally, Foxx and Farrell are currently costarring in a film version of the former hit TV cop show "Miami Vice.")
Schmidt said that he approached Farrell's agent at Creative Artists Agency last week to broker a deal on the sex video, but that the next thing he knew he was being sued by Singer.
"I was under the assumption that this was a good-faith negotiation," Schmidt said Tuesday. "I think Farrell jumped the gun unnecessarily."
Singer said Schmidt, who had been given the Foxx photos that the worker said he found, ultimately "volunteered to do the right thing" and returned the photos to Foxx. As a condition of settling the matter, Schmidt requested a face-to-face meeting with the actor, Singer said.
"He wanted to shake hands with Jamie Foxx, and I said that would not occur," Singer recalled.