April 07, 2000 04:45am
Hefner Must Testify in Nude Photo Flap
by: Joe Beaird
(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Hugh Hefner has been ordered to testify about how a nude picture of a Playmate was published in a coffee-table book without her consent - but the case may end with a settlement before he utters a word.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Boland on Thursday approved a motion to compel the former publisher of Playboy to give a deposition in the case.
"Here's a man who has stood for free speech, the self-proclaimed father of the American sexual revolution," said Gary Frischer, a spokesman for Playmate Carrie Leigh. "But when it comes to talking about it in an honest manner, he files a motion to seal it from the press."
Leigh, a former girlfriend of Hefner's and now a married mother, filed suit March 4 after her picture surfaced in the book Inside the Playboy Mansion.
May settle out of court
With the prospect of Hefner's unsealed testimony looming, his lawyers have offered to settle the case out of court.
"They've offered a settlement," Frischer confirmed. "We can't discuss that."
Leigh, who appeared nude in Playboy in 1986 and as herself in the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop, is suing her one-time lover and Playboy Enterprises Inc. for breach of contract, invasion of privacy and defamation.
Leigh's photo appeared in the coffee-table book even after she and Hefner had supposedly entered into an agreement - stemming from an earlier lawsuit - not to print private photos of her.
Offended by sex reference
Also named in the lawsuit are Gretchen Edgren, who wrote the text of the 1998 book, and Marilyn Grabowski, who in the book describes Leigh as "a crazy wounded bird."
Leigh also was personally offended by the Playboy mansion book because, her lawsuit claims, it "contained a description of an adult woman having sexual relations with a minor."
The media department at Playboy Enterprises in Los Angeles had no comment.