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Fawcett's cancer file breached

The incident occurred months before UCLA hospital employees were caught snooping in Britney Spears' files.

April 03, 2008|Charles Ornstein | Times Staff Writer

"It's definitely taken a toll on her," he said. "It's extremely unfair."

Although angry at UCLA, Fawcett and her representatives reserve most of their scorn for the Enquirer and the Globe, which they say have printed false or grossly exaggerated reports. Among them, Nevius said, are reports that Fawcett was going blind, suffered from shingles, underwent a hysterectomy and had a rib removed.

Most painful, her representatives said, was the headline "Farrah Begs: 'Let me die'; She tells pals she can't fight anymore."

Enquirer senior reporter Alan Smith defended his coverage of Fawcett's cancer. "This is a newsworthy story," he said. "We publish what we believe is accurate."

Responding to complaints from Fawcett's lawyers about the accuracy of 14 stories, a lawyer for the Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., wrote in a July 2007 letter that the articles were based on "exceptional sources directly in a position to know the information reported."

After Fawcett learned of the most recent breach, she, her producer and her lawyers asked Klove for the employee's name, with no success, several of those involved said. Her lawyers then asked UCLA to give the employee a letter seeking a meeting to discuss the incidents. The worker declined the invitation.

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charles.ornstein@latimes.com

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