Steven Spielberg has banned a British judge from seeing his WAR OF THE WORLDS movie before its official release - despite the judge having paid $2,368 (GBP1,300) for a private preview at a charity auction.

JUDGE CARL TEPER was ecstatic to have cast the winning bid in aid of children's charity Sparks (NOV04), and planned a lavish party around the screening of the Tom Cruise blockbuster, which he scheduled for 24 June (05) to coincide with his 50th birthday.

The star-studded guestlist included Boy George, actress Barbara Windsor and columnist MATTHEW PARRIS.

But three days ago (27MAY05), Teper was mortified to receive an email from UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES, who had donated the impressive prize for auction, saying Spielberg has refused permission for the preview.

Teper has slammed the company for what he describes as a "fundamental breach of contract".

30/05/2005 17:22