BROOKLYN (CN) – A former model claims in court that a website jeopardized her career as an aspiring lawyer by leaking photos of her wearing lingerie to a gossip website that falsely identified her and sent the photos around the world.
Shana Edme sued Internet Brands dba ModelMayhem.com, Media Takeout.com LLC, and Domains By Proxy LLC dba Bossip.com, in Federal Court.
Three years later, Edme says, she dropped modeling to pursue a law degree. She says she was working for “a large law firm” on Long Island, when her family and friends told her that her old modeling photos had been leaked to Media Takeout.com.
“In fact, the story posted by Media Takeout.com online on August 4, 2011 was on its front page, with several of the plaintiff’s restricted portfolio photos included, and accompanied by this text: “WOWZERS!! WE GOT PICS OF KIMORA LEE SIMMONS’ YOUNGER SISTER … IN LINGERIE!! (LOOKS LIKE KIMMY … ONLY THICK) Her name is Shana Lee…. and she looks just like her big sis Kimmy,” the site said, according to the complaint.
Kimora Lee Simmons is a model and fashion designer.
Edme said the comments below the story added insult to injury.
“What followed then were several hundred email comments from people nationwide who had seen the photos and read the article – many of the comments being derogatory and sexual in nature,” the complaint states.
Edme claims that Kimora Lee Simmons told Bossip.com: “That Lil Trashy Lingerie Wearing Heffa Is NOT My Sister”.
But the humiliation was not over, Edme says. “Later that day, another of plaintiff’s friends contacted her via Facebook and informed plaintiff that the website Bossip.com posted a story with the title ‘Rumor Control: Kimora Lee Simmons Says ‘That Lil Trashy Lingerie Wearing Heffa Is NOT My Sister’ … Kimora Lee Simmons took the time out today to address some lies floatin’ around the internets that she has a lil lingerie modeling sister named Shana Lee …
“‘Via her blog: [“]Today, it was brought to my attention that there is recently published story on the internet claiming I have a younger sister who is a model. This story is not true as I do not have a sister. I felt the need to clear up any confusion or questions.[“] (Spelling, brackets and ellipses as in complaint.)
Edme says this article reposted the lingerie pictures and sparked “numerous online email responses from people nationwide.”
Then the Huffington Post, GlobalGrind.com and Hollywood.com allegedly entered the fray, but are not named as defendants.
Edme claims the defendants caused “emotional distress, humiliation and damage to her employment – and personal relationships” and brought her unwanted attention from “men nationwide” who contacted her about the “illegally obtained” photos.
“As a direct result of the defendants’ unlawful and offensive invasion of the plaintiff Shana Edme’s privacy, the plaintiff’s future career plans to apply for and attend law school have been placed in jeopardy,” the complaint states.
Edme seeks $3 million in punitive damages for violation of New York State privacy laws.
She is represented by David Gordon, of Highmount.