View Full Version : It's offical! Penthouse pics were not Anna

May 7th, 2002, 08:07 AM
Congrats :bounce: to the board members for spotting this counterfeit a mile away, I knew it wasn't Anna, she's too smart to get caught in something this stupid: ;)

Penthouse Sued in Kournikova Photo Controversy
Updated 7:01 PM ET May 6, 2002

By Gail Appleson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The daughter-in-law of fashion designer Luciano Benetton sued Penthouse Magazine on Monday for publishing unauthorized photographs of her sunbathing topless while allegedly misidentifying her as Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova.

Judith Soltesz-Benetton, 28, sued Penthouse's parent company General Media Communications for damages of more than $10 million. The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, also seeks a court order recalling the 1.2 million copies of the June issue of the men's magazine.

In a hearing later in the day, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin barred the magazine from posting the photographs on its Internet Web site as had been scheduled for Friday. He also ordered that no further copies of the magazine be distributed before a hearing next week.

Victor Kovner, a lawyer representing General Media, said there was no basis for the lawsuit and the plaintiff has not alleged libel. Instead he said Soltesz-Benetton sued on grounds that the pictures were used purely for commercial reasons and not in connection with any article.

However, Kovner said the magazine had run the pictures in connection with a news story about Kournikova.


The lawyer said the company is investigating whether it had misidentified the woman in the photographs. If there was an error, he said Penthouse would correct it.

``At most, this is simply a wrong photograph case,'' Kovner said.

Soltesz-Benetton, who lives in Italy, is married to Rocco Benetton. The suit said she is the mother of a 2-year-old child and is currently four months pregnant.

The suit alleged the topless photographs have caused Soltesz-Benetton great embarrassment.

It alleged it is ``all the more degrading'' that the photographs appear in an issue that contains such explicit sexual pictures as a fully nude woman ``performing fellatio on a plastic male member while purportedly fantasizing about being a slave girl who is raped by an ancient Roman soldier.''

Penthouse had allegedly obtained a number of unauthorized photographs of Soltesz-Benetton taken of her while sunbathing topless in Miami about seven years ago. The suit alleged that the magazine then published a dozen pictures of the plaintiff misidentifying her as Kournikova.

The cover of Penthouse's June issue carries the headline ''Exclusive Anna Kournikova Caught Close Up on Nude Beach.''

Kournikova's management agency has previously said that the pictures were not of the tennis star and that she also plans to sue Penthouse over the photographs.

Soltesz-Benetton said in the suit that she learned of the existence of the photographs on May 1 when she saw a television tabloid show about controversy over the photos.

``When the television show displayed one of the disputed Penthouse photographs, plaintiff was shocked to see that it was in fact she, and not Kournikova, pictured in the magazine,'' the suit alleged.


~ The Leopard ~
May 7th, 2002, 08:55 AM
Isn't this great?! Hope this Benetton gal sues the pants of them - so to speak. ;)

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

May 7th, 2002, 09:07 AM
The photographs were taken 7 years ago! They can hardly call it 'simply a wrong photograph case' then. It's not as if the photographer really thought he was taking pictures of Anna.

I hope both Anna and Judith win their cases!

Williams Rulez
May 7th, 2002, 10:38 AM
Hehe... I hope Penthouse goes bankrupt... :kiss:

May 7th, 2002, 11:16 AM
I think the majority of people knew that it was not Anna, except for one certain poster, who shell remain nameless, as I said at the time, he was obviously not wearing his glasses...

Oh, I wonder if he still thinks she will lose the law suit now :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

May 7th, 2002, 11:41 AM
I think I read an article a while ago saying penthouse is pretty desperate nowadays as thier sales is dropping like cliff because of internet and stuff, and the owner need to sell his luxious house to cover teh loss the mag is making. now this will be another blow to them, and I won't be surprised if they go bankrupted within the next two years.

May 7th, 2002, 01:34 PM
Don't know about 'nameless' posters, but I still think Anna will lose her suit if it goes to trial. She doesn't have a case, legally. Soltesz-Benetton might. I'm not sure where the law where publishing a photo identifying you as someone else.

(For the very few who care, I was an professional actor and model for about 12 years. I did NOT make a lot of money, which is why I'm out of the game. But it's a profession where you have to know what people can and cannot do to your image.)

May 7th, 2002, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by Williams_Rulez
Hehe... I hope Penthouse goes bankrupt... :kiss:


May 7th, 2002, 01:50 PM
In order for Kournikova to have a case she would need to prove that the publishers new the pics were not of her before they were published. If she can do that then it would be a case of deliberate misrepresentation to gain profit. She has no foot to stand on with regards to invasion of privacy as the pics are not of her in the first place. Furthermore there is no case with regards to deffermation of character as the pics are apparantly (I've not seen them) merely of a girl sunbathing topless, in itself hardly the crime of the century. What this does represent as has already been pointed out on this board is mags like Penthouse and others are on the endangered species list largly due to the proliferation of porn online.

May 7th, 2002, 02:09 PM
What Anna will be filing a law suit over is the following..
(this comes from the ESPN articles)

The magazine has committed numerous violations of Miss Kournikova's rights, including portraying her in a false light," Schwab said. "We will take all appropriate actions to protect our client's name, rights and image."


"The topless photographs in the article are so dissimilar to Miss Kournikova that the magazine acted either intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth in order to exploit our client and make a profit."

May 7th, 2002, 02:09 PM
The case anna has for penthouse using her name to gain profit is her best chance IMO. as stated it depends if they can prove that penthouse knowing used pics that werent her.

Her case for defamation is slim, but she does have one. The mere fact that she has been asscociated with such a magazine portrays her in an unfavourable light.