Russian tennis star Anastasia Myskina has filed a lawsuit against GQ magazine and its photographer, who handed over her nude photographs to Russian men's magazine Medved (Bear) without her permission.
The lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan's Federal Court, MIGnews reports. Myskina seeks eight million dollars in moral damage from the American magazine. Eighteen months earlier GQ published an article in its October 2002 issue. The article was illustrated with only one photograph by Mark Seliger. The picture depicted fully clothed Myskina, the tennis player personally authorized its publication.
The July-August 2004 issue of Medved magazine has published other photos of the tennis star. The lawsuit claims a topless photo has been placed on the magazine cover (Myskina is seen wearing only jeans on it). Three other photos were published in the magazine too – one of them was a shirtless one.
Anastasia Myskina's lawyer says the pictures had been taken "in a closed environment, and this was not the arrangement." "This is not a question of nude photographs, it is a question about the decision other people have made without her permission," the lawyer said.
Myskina accused photographer Mark Selinger of "deriving profit from her fame and popularity." In addition, the lawsuit claims GQ and its corporate parent Conde Nast were definitely aware of the fact Seliger and his studio was intended to sell the photos to a Russian magazine, but they did not take any preventive measures.
"The publication of the photos became a surprise both for me and for Anastasia. These photos have not been used for more than two years. Therefore, the fact of their publication at this very moment proves GQ's intention to gain profit on Myskina's increased popularity," lawyer Alexander Berkovich was quoted as saying.
Conde Nast Publication officials have not released any comments yet. One of Seliger's agents told New Izvestia he was not willing to say anything on the matter. Spokespeople for the Russian magazine, which published the photographs, said they did not see any major problems arising. "The photos have been purchased officially from a photo agency. That is why there should not be any claims to the magazine," one of the magazine's editors told New Izvestia.
Anastasia Myskina's lawsuit became the first pending case of the kind. A similar scandal occurred in April of 2002. The scandal was connected with nude photos in Penthouse magazine. The naked girl on the photos looked like Anna Kournikova, although the latter refused to recognize herself on them. It was also said nude photographs depicted not Kournikova, but former model Judith Soltesz-Benetton. The model identified herself on the photos, but claimed she did not give her permission for publication. The conflict was settled without any litigation: the magazine presented its apologies to both celebrities and withdrew the disputable issue from circulation.