Judge: No Privacy Expectation For Girls Who 'Go Wild'4 Jun, 2002 By: Hive News
In a predictable decision, a Louisiana court has ruled that women who spontaneously bare their breasts for cameras in public have no expectation of privacy or profit.
That may seem like a no-brainer to many, but several women sued the producers of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, seeking damages because the company made a profit reselling their images on the popular video series. The court dismissed the lawsuit after 10 months of litigation and it dies today, as the time allowed for the plaintiffs to appeal the dismissal lapsed.
The court recognized that women publicly displaying their breasts allow for the following: no expectation of privacy, consent to being filmed, and that the producers may freely sell the videos, according to a statement from
Three women captured on video and featured in a “Girls Gone Wild” video sued as Jane Does last July, alleging the producers invaded their privacy by illegally filming them exposing their breasts at Mardi Gras in February 1999 and using their images without permission. They also claimed the videos were being sold without their consent or compensation.
The trio sought unspecified damages and a share of all profits from "Girls Gone Wild" video sales, along with an injunction to prevent further sales and distribution of the videos.
Following a New Orleans hearing, Judge C. Hunter King dismissed the case.
“Certainly, as relates to a cause of action, they did not expect this to be a private matter,” the judge wrote. “Because when you do it [expose your body] on Bourbon Street or in a club and you know there is an individual with a video, certainly you must expect that this is going to be shown all over the place."
In a similar lawsuit, pending in Tallahassee, Fla., Becky Lynn Gritzke, who bared her breasts at a Mardi Gras celebration, is suing the same producers, claiming they invaded her privacy and used her image without permission while she was intoxicated. She also claims that her image from the video was used on the "Girls Gone Wild" cover and in television advertisements without her permission. Like the women in the Louisiana action, Gritzke seeks a money damages for being included in the videos.
"The constitutional and statutory protections that allow for the filming of events on public streets is a bar to Gritzke's claims,” said Mantra attorney Ronald E. Guttman. I believe that Judge King's analysis in the Louisiana action is indicative of how Gritzke's case ultimately will be decided."