A lunchtime crowd mobbed Paul Newman, flattening two nearby cameramen, outside a courtroom where a delicatessen owner is suing the actor for a share in the profits from Newman's food firm.

A news photographer and television cameraman ended up sprawled on the pavement as about 100 fans screamed compliments and followed Newman along downtown streets as he left the courthouse.Newman, who declined comment on the case, was expected to testify later in the suit brought by Julius Gold, owner of a deli in the affluent New York suburb of Westport, where Newman also lives.

About 50 spectators packed into the small courtroom in Superior Court hoping to catch a glimpse of Newman, who donates the profits from his Newman's Own food business to charity.

In court, attorneys for Newman and his co-defendants, author A.E. Hotchner and David Kalman, the food broker for the business, sharply criticized Gold's testimony.

Gold had testified that Hotchner approached him in 1979 and asked him to help market a salad dressing Hotchner and Newman had developed and had been giving to friends in old wine bottles.

Gold claims he was offered a small percentage of stock in the company when he drove back to Connecticut with Newman after a business meeting in New York.

"I alighted from the car and I thanked him for the ride and I thanked him for the stock," Gold said, adding that Newman said goodbye.

Newman's lawyer, Patrick Ryan, attacked the claim, citing earlier testimony by Gold that he had never discussed money with Newman.

Gold claims Hotchner and Kalman have made money off the venture and that he deserves his share.

The deli owner said he helped the men find a bottler and set up a marketing plan for the business, which has since expanded to include spaghetti sauce, popcorn and lemonade.

Ryan said Gold had devised a business plan that included stock for himself without telling Newman or Hotchner but eventually gave the plan to Hotchner.