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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nude Footage On The Internet: Cleveland Judge Dismisses Ohio Mom's $100 Million Lawsuit

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- A federal judge says an Ohio woman who signed an agreement to appear nude in the 1990s for "adult film work" now has no standing to complain she's a victim under the UN's declaration of human rights. The woman lives in Wooster and says she fears for the safety of her children, including a daughter. She filed a $100 million lawsuit contending the scenes of her work are appearing on the Internet accompanied by sexually charged derogatory comments that encourages "violence against women." She did not object to the nude pictures, but argued the alleged verbal abuse was "completely unnecessary to advertise adult film work." Apparently, the footage was shot in August 1998 for a production called Action Sports Sex 2.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi ruled that the UN Charter does not apply. She said courts have declared it a non-binding resolution:

"Moreover, at the time of its adoption in 1948, it was the explicit position of the United States that the Declaration 'is not a treaty . . . or an international agreement' and 'that it does not purport to be a statement of law or of legal obligation." The judge noted that the statement she quoted was made by Eleanor Roosevelt, then a delegate to the UN General Assembly.

Judge Lioi said the Ohio woman could not invoke the Violence Against Women Act, a federal law that contains no provision for civil damages. Lioi dismissed the lawsuit, which named Los Angeles-based porn distributor Vivid Video as one of three defendants. In the lawsuit, Case No. 5:08 CV 0274, Northern District of Ohio, the woman complained she became aware of the video 11 months ago:

"The Internet site and advertising, as well as the video being sold with the same abusive and obscene comments regarding her, have been in circulation for ten years unknown previously to the plaintiff . . . The same work has been sold to other Internet site owners. The comments advertising the nude plaintiff are detailed as 'stupid sl-t,' and 'dirty wh-res with filthy mouth', f--k my a--, spit in my mouth and throw me back in the street where I belong."

The woman said the comments damaged her reputation and that she was "humiliated, appalled, crushed emotionally. . ''


  1. At the risk of sounding like a wonky nudge, the Violence Against Women Act in fact includes a provision allowing civil damages in some cases, but that provision was found unconstitutional.

  2. "The woman said the comments damaged her reputation and that she was "humiliated, appalled, crushed emotionally. . ''"

    Reality is her actions damaged her reputation. Sad that she doesn't like it, but these folks didn't sign her to do the films because they respect her.

  3. Pho and LargeBill --

    Pho, you are correct. The provision was struck down so it is "in" the law. But not enforceable, or actionable, or of any use in litigating a complaint. I will leave it to your lawyerly verbiage.

    LargeBill, it is a sad case IMHO. There is some suggestion the woman may not have had all her wits about her when she signed the papers to appear nude. But it looks like she is stuck with that decision. No details about what she was paid, if anything.