How fitting, that in 1983, when Helmut Newton printed 75 copies of an exclusive burlesque/celebrity photo suite, he named the thing “Private Property Collection.”

The title packs a punch in an L.A. lawsuit filed yesterday by June Browne Newton. The photographer's Australian widow is apparently alive and kickin' at the ripe age of 88 — enough to sue three art dealers who have been sleezing the artist's work around via typo-ridden eBay auctions [Courthouse News Service].

Here are a couple of the photos (don't sue us, pretty please), which June claims fall under the Copyright Act of 1976:

"Woman Into Man"

“Woman Into Man”



The lawsuit claims Newton enlisted the Los Angeles dealers to help publicize the work back in the '80s, but that the agreement has since expired, and Norman Solomon, Art & Artifact and Celebrity Vault no longer have the right to handle the black-and-white classics.

To add insult to copyright infringement, the eBay posts are trashy, glam and poorly written. One example, reprinted in the legal documents:

Newton died at 84 in the driveway of his West Hollywood hotel residence in 1994 — the celeb-heavy Chateau Marmont, on Sunset Boulevard — when he lost control of his vehicle, possibly due to a heart attack. All rights to his controversial legacy of nudes and portraits went to June.


LA Weekly