Date: 19th February 2001

Actress Penelope Cruz Angers Spanish Bullfighters

LATEST: Sultry Spanish star PENELOPE CRUZ is at odds with her father and fellow countrymen over her views on bullfighting.

The CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN actress is causing debate in her native Spain with her confused attitude to the barbaric 'sport'.

Last week (ends15FEB01), Cruz publicly claimed to be against the practice - but her father, a Madrid car mechanic, thinks differently. He says, "I'm an aficionado of the San Fermin festival, and in the past my daughter has got up early in the morning to watch the bulls with me."

The controversy began last week when the mayor of Pamplona, YOLANDA BARCINA, received a letter seemingly signed by the actress, expressing strong opposition to bullfighting, for which the city is famous. The letter caused "surprise and indignation" in the city - not least because it was written in English.

But Cruz denied penning the letter, saying, "I would never send a letter in English to another Spaniard." She admitted signing a petition sent to her by the American animal rights group PETA, but claims she did not give her permission for them to use her signature on the letter. (MCM/WNWPNE/RP)

Source: WENN