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The Naked Truth ... or Not?

April 27, 2002|Lisa Dillman

The dispute between tennis diva Anna Kournikova and Penthouse magazine over nude pictures in the magazine's June issue could be headed for court.

Kournikova's management agency, Octagon, asserted that the topless photos said to be of the tennis player in the 10-page spread are not of her. A libel lawyer who has been referred to the case by Penthouse said his client contends otherwise.

"People who know Anna and see the photos will immediately recognize these are not photos of her," Octagon spokesperson David Schwab said. "Penthouse has left us with no alternative but to pursue legal actions to protect our client's rights and interests."

Penthouse's counsel, Victor A. Kovner, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, called the pictorial "flattering and favorable." Kovner, according to the law firm's Web site, has represented broadcast and print media clients in "all aspects of communications law."

"We're surprised they're upset about this article," Kovner said of Kournikova and her representatives.

Of Octagon's assertion that the topless photos are not of Kournikova, Kovner said: "I've been advised my clients reviewed it carefully and are confident this is Miss Kournikova.... It doesn't suggest she posed topless."

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