Actress Sandra Bullock has entered a Texas courtroom to fight the builder she hired to build her a luxury home, accusing him of constructing an unlivable abode.

Developer MB 'BENNY' DANESHJOU claims the MISS CONGENIALITY star - who appeared at Travis County court yesterday (18AUG04) - owes him money for the work carried out on her Lake Austin house, which he claims is perfectly well built.

He filed a lawsuit against the actress but she countersued, claiming the house was defective.

Travis County District Judge Paul Davis banned cameras from his courtroom for the trial that's expected to last more than a month, because he doesn't want her celebrity status to make an impact on the case.

The actress - who has been entangled in litigation with Daneshjou for several years - was in the courtroom for jury selection as potential jurors were asked if her celebrity would be a factor in reaching a verdict.

Bullock laughed when a woman failed to realise she was a movie star, instead believing she was a former wife of late Texas political giant BOB BULLOCK.

The sexy actress, 40, first contracted with Daneshjou in 1997 to build the lakefront house. She also agreed to become a partner with him in a development project.

But she now claims the home needed massive repairs and that Daneshjou committed fraud in the development project in which she invested more than $300,000 (GBP165,000).

Opening statements in the case are expected to begin this week (ends20AUG04).

19/08/2004 09:20