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TV Actress Prevails in Suits Over Nude Photos on Web

December 21, 1998|GREG MILLER

Television actress Alyssa Milano recently won several legal skirmishes in her crusade to stop Internet sites from posting nude pictures of her.

Two operators of nude celebrity Web sites have agreed to remove the pictures of Milano and settle suits she filed against them, according to Milano's attorney, Mitchell Kamarck. He declined to specify how much money the sites agreed to pay except to say that the total is "in the five figures."

Milano also obtained a $238,200 judgment against a Minnesota man who did not contest a suit accusing him of selling and posting pictures of her on the Net without her permission. Two other suits are pending, Kamarck said.

All of the suits accused the Web site operators of right-of-publicity and privacy violations. Web sites that post nude pictures of celebrities, including many images that are fakes, have flourished online, with some operators saying they can make tens of thousands of dollars a month in access fees paid by users.

Kamarck said any money collected through the settlements will go toward funding a Web site, http://www.safesearching.com, that points users to home pages of celebrities. The site is registered to Lin Milano, whose daughter, Alyssa, is best known for her recent role on the soap opera "Melrose Place."

Ironically, even safesearching.com unintentionally links to sites that post nude pictures of Demi Moore, Bo Derek and other celebrities. It does not, however, link to sites that charge for viewing such images.

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