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tennischick
May 8th, 2002, 04:06 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Penthouse magazine apologized Tuesday for misidentifying topless pictures of the daughter-in-law of fashion designer Luciano Benetton as those of tennis player Anna Kournikova.

"We deeply regret this unintentional error and offer our heartfelt apologies to both women," the magazine said in a statement.

The statement was released a day after Judith Soltesz-Benetton sued Penthouse, seeking a minimum of $10 million in damages. Her attorney, Judd Burstein, claimed the magazine knew about the mistake weeks ago, but published the photos anyway.

The apology "is a month late and $10 million short," Burstein said.

In response to the suit, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ordered the magazine to temporarily stop distributing the June issue to newsstands and blocked it from putting pictures on a Web site.

Chin ruled Soltesz-Benetton, 28, would suffer irreparably if Penthouse sent the pictures beyond its current distribution of 1.2 million homes and newsstands.

Soltesz-Benetton claims she was shocked to learn that a photographer had taken a dozen topless photographs without her knowledge when she was in Florida seven years ago. Kournikova, 20, through an agent had denied the photographs were of her.

In the statement, Penthouse said it had examined the purported images Kournikova in "painstaking detail" and received assurances from the photographer before deciding they were genuine.

"We were wrong," the magazine said. "In over 30 years of publishing this magazine, we have never made an error of anything approaching this magnitude."

cnnsi

saff76ar
May 8th, 2002, 04:11 AM
Whatever, Anna's attorneys fight back:

http://espn.go.com/tennis/news/2002/0507/1379640.html

Tuesday, May 7

Kournikova seeking damages in excess of $10M

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com


Attorneys representing Anna Kournikova filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the 20-year-old Russian tennis star against the publishers of Penthouse Magazine.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the magazine featured a 13-photo spread of a topless woman the publication promoted as Kournikova, portraying the tennis player in a false light, invading her privacy and defaming her name.

"This case concerns a magazine so desperate for circulation that it trumpeted to the world a total fabrication that it was printing nude photographs of international tennis star Anna Kournikova when, in reality, the photographs depicted someone else," the lawsuit states.

"(Penthouse) exploited and misappropriated Anna Kournikova's good and valuable name, image and likeness in the basest, most humiliating way for its own crass commercial purposes."

Kournikova's attorneys are seeking damages in excess of $10 million and demand the magazine to destroy all plates and molds regarding the "Kournikova" article and photos.

Kournikova's lawsuit follows the lawsuit filed in U.S District Court in New York by Judith Soltesz-Benetton, the woman who says the photos are of her and were taken about seven years ago on a beach in Miami. Soltesz-Benetton, whose father-in-law is the famous fashion designer Luciano Benetton, also seeks damages in excess of $10 million.

On Monday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued a temporary restraining order against Penthouse that required the publication to cease distributing more copies and putting the "Kournikova" pictures on the publication's Web site.

"The way Penthouse has used this shows me Penthouse doesn't really care whether it's true or not, only whether it sells issues and get people to the Web site," Chin said.

In a statement issued Tuesday under the headline "Penthouse Apologizes," the adult magazine claims it was led to believe the pictures were genuinely of Kournikova.

"We deeply regret this unintentional error and offer heartfelt apologies to both women," the statement said. "In over 30 years of publishing this magazine, we have never made an error of anything approaching this magnitude. We can only say, 'We're sorry' to the two women."

"Their apology is as fake as the photos," Octagon spokesman David Schwab told ESPN.com on Tuesday night.

According to Kournikova's suit, the tennis player was "distressed, embarrassed and angered" over the issue.

disposablehero
May 8th, 2002, 04:13 AM
Although they felt perfectly justified in publishing photos they thought were of Anna but were obviously unauthorized.

Iconoclast
May 8th, 2002, 08:18 AM
They should tear those bastards into pieces. I have never seen so obvious fakes. It takes about 0.3 second to notice that it isn't Anna. And now these idiots have the audacity to claim that they actually examined them carefully and came to the conclusion it was Kournikova?

Yeah, right. We all believe that. Sure.

They perfectly well knew they were fakes. All a marketing ploy. And that poor girl. Her breasts all over the Internet thanks to the Penthouse morons...

I think $10 Million is a bit too modest.