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Lawsuits

Sexually Suggestive Teen Photo Shoot in L.A. Results in Big-Money Lawsuit Against Urban Outfitters

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Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 1:34 PM

click to enlarge One of the offending images. - URBAN OUTFITTERS
  • Urban Outfitters
  • One of the offending images.
Updated at the bottom: The photog's camp responds, says girl's dad was there for the photo shoot. Also, see a response from the t-shirt maker that used a controversial image of the girl. First posted at 8:04 a.m. on Aug. 19.

A clothed 15-year-old girl spread her legs, posed sans bra and even allegedly exposed parts of her breasts during a fashion photo shoot in Los Angeles in 2010.

Now the teen and her parents are suing the photog, Jason Lee Parry, other targets, and retailer Urban Outfitters, which has used images of the shoot for shirts peddled on its website (where the items are said to be "sold out.").

This according to the New York Daily News, which reports that the family wants a whopping ...

... $28 million for its troubles. The suit was filed Thursday in New York.

The Daily News quotes the suit:

click to enlarge The image that inspired a t-shirt design. - JASON LEE PARRY
  • Jason Lee Parry
  • The image that inspired a t-shirt design.

The image of Teen in a spread eagle position making her crotch area the focal point of the image may portray a child in a sexually suggestive manner and may be in violation of one or more federal and/or state laws.

The girl's name was not revealed because she's a well known model and the suit could affect her career.

Of course, questions like, What were her parents thinking when they approved the shoot? And Why did they wait until now to raise a stink about it? would certainly come up in court.

Read more here.

Update: A group claiming to represent "Team Parry" sent out a response to the suit over the weekend.

click to enlarge A photo from the shoot, sent to us by 'Team Parry.' - JASON LEE PARRY
  • Jason Lee Parry
  • A photo from the shoot, sent to us by 'Team Parry.'

It claims that the girl's father was there for the controversial shoot.

Additionally, the email, sent to the Weekly and other outlets, says the man was shown photos on-set and "sanctioned them."

Also claimed:

There was absolutely no breasts or genitalia visible in the image in question. There is less skin observable in the image than could be seen in any contemporary bathing suit photo.

And: The photog, the email says, had nothing to do with the image being used for a t-shirt.

And, finally:

After the photos were released the model proudly posted the images in question to her personal site.

Blood is the New Black, the L.A.-based maker of the t-shirt that used the girl's image, also sent a response over the weekend. It reads, in part:

The images were delivered to us by Jason Lee Parry with the sole purpose of producing tee shirts and marketing them to our network of stores worldwide. One image, depicting a woman on a motorcycle, was printed on men's and women's tee shirts and sold to a number of stores, including Urban Outfitters. Neither Urban Outfitters nor Blood is the New Black were aware that the photographer had failed to obtain a model release from the Teen Model or her parents, who were present at the shoot. Blood is the New Black values its relationship with Urban Outfitters and all our customers and feels as though they must not be held responsible for this gross oversight.

Blood is the New Black is very sensitive to the matter at hand as it was revealed to us that the Model was underage after the release of the tee shirts.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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