August 09, 2000 06:36pm
Aniston Sues Over Celebrity Skin
Source: News Wire
The honeymoon's over for Jennifer Aniston. Or at least for her lawyers.
Just a week after she and Brad Pitt exchanged vows, the Friends star has taken a cue from her paparazzi-plagued hubby and filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against two skin mags, which published shots of her sunbathing in the buff.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims an overzealous stalkerazzo climbed her neighbor's eight-foot wall and, using a telephoto lens, snapped shots of the new Mrs. Pitt "reclining topless in her backyard, wearing only her panties."
The spread, first published last year in Celebrity Skin magazine, featured the 31-year-old actress in a bit less than her wedding gown, with the understated, yet effective, headline: "First Time Photos/Friends Stars X-Posed--Rachel, Monica and Phoebe Get Naked!"
Aniston is asking a judge to permanently bar Man's World Publications and Crescent Publishing Group, which publish Celebrity Skin and High Society magazines, from publishing or distributing the pics. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Caroline Landau, general counsel for the publishers, says the company has not yet been served with the papers. "I haven't read it, so I can't comment," she says.
According to the complaint, Aniston first saw the photos last September, and her attorney John Lavely sent a cease-and-desist order to the publishers. But the pics soon appeared again, in the December 1999 issue of High Society, featuring a full-page shot of Aniston in her panties (along with shots of her in a bathing suit in Mexico) with the headline, "Rachel Gets Raunchy/Her Shocking XXX-Rated Vacation."
Aniston's complaint contends that the publishers capitalized on the fact that she's never before appeared nude in a movie or photograph ("as a major selling point"), and that colorful descriptions alongside photos--like "raw" and "raunchy"--"were and are highly offensive and objectionable to plaintiff, as they would be to any reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities," the suit reads.
This should all sound vaguely familiar to her husband. With the help of Lavely in 1997, Pitt filed suit against beefcake nudie mag Playgirl after it published a series of stripped-down photos that were snapped while he was vacationing in the West Indies with onetime girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow in 1995. Like Aniston's suit, Lavely claimed the 10 Pitt photos were taken illegally by a trespassing photog.
Despite its First Amendment defense and claims that the photos were already widely published on the Net, Playgirl lost its battle. A judge ordered all remaining issues of the magazine (by then, of course, a collector's item) pulled from the newsstands.