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Crying Paris Lands "20/20" in Legal War

1/16/2009 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

This isn't just a great photo of Paris Hilton crying on her way to jail back in 2007 -- it's exhibit A in a legal war against the ABC network.


The photographer who shot the pic, Karl Larsen, has filed a Federal lawsuit against the network, claiming their show "20/20" ran the photo without paying him for it -- but it gets a lot better.

In the suit, Larsen claims "20/20" gave the credit for the image to a guy named Nick Ut -- a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer who snapped the infamous picture of a naked 9-year-old girl running away from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War.

Usually, being confused with a Pulitzer winner isn't a bad thing, but Larsen claims Ut is competition now -- and points out that Ut also was there shooting on the day Paris went back to jail.

Now, Larsen says, he's "suffered ... a decrease in market value" of his work as a result of the mix-up and wants ABC to hand over a ton of cash to pay for the damages. ABC couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

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