Source AP ©

Australian police drop charges against photographer accused of spying on Nicole Kidman

Prosecutors withdrew charges Thursday against a celebrity photographer accused of planting a listening device outside the mansion of actress Nicole Kidman.

Jamie Fawcett, 41, was charged in January 2005 with possessing and using a listening device after he was allegedly spotted planting the bug outside Kidman's lavish Sydney home. Police had said Fawcett planned to use the device to track the actress by listening in on her security guards' conversations.

The New South Wales state Department of Public Prosecutions withdrew all charges against Fawcett in Sydney's Local Court on Thursday. The reasons for the decision were not immediately clear.

"It was a very narrow investigation that once again targeted the photographers at a scene and I felt that was perhaps unfair," Fawcett told reporters outside the court.

"I am often asked about the feud between Miss Kidman and myself," he added. "In fact, I don't have any opinion whatsoever about Miss Kidman, other than to wish her all the best."

Not long after he was charged, a Sydney court ordered Fawcett to provide a DNA sample to compare with samples allegedly found on the listening device.

But the photographer appealed to the New South Wales state Supreme Court, which ruled that he could not be forced to provide police with a DNA sample since there was no evidence he had violated any law.

Kidman's Australian agent, Wendy Day, said it was a matter for the prosecutors and that the actress had no comment.

"It has nothing to do with Nicole," she told The Associated Press. "That was something to do between the DPP and Jamie Fawcett."

In 2005, Kidman reached an out-of-court settlement with Fawcett and fellow Sydney-based photographer Ben McDonald after she was granted a temporary restraining order against the pair for allegedly stalking her and making her feel like a prisoner in her own home.

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