FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) - A man peddling self-help programs on the Internet is using another man's children in ads that promote his businesses as family-oriented, the kids' natural father claims in court.
On behalf of his two minor children, Philip Wilson II sued their mom's boyfriend Boris Slivka and his many web personae - Borino Productions, Expired Plus, Mind Matrix Plus, Heal Heartbreak and others - for using their children's photos in his ads.
According to the lawsuit in Fairfax County Court, Slivka sells videos of training manuals, self-help programs and real estate sales techniques through his websites, in which he goes by the name Borino.
"Many of the images utilized by defendant in communicating with potential clients endeavors to portray 'Borino' as a family man and to convey that the business is a family-oriented business, whichever business he is promoting at the time," the complaint states.
Wilson claims the ads contain pictures of Slivka and Wilson's son and daughter in various activities, with captions.
For instance, Wilson claims, Slivka posted a picture "of a sumptuous table with the plaintiff minor children on his lap and by his side" with a caption reading "All the best from our family to yours!"
He also posted a Christmas picture "picturing Santa and defendant with the plaintiff children, with the following message: 'went to see The Man himself last night with the family. Our 8-year old assures me that this guy is the real deal.'"
Wilson claims that Slivka posted a picture of himself with his kids' mother with a caption: "Having an awesome Father's Day," and another picture with Wilson's daughter in his arms holding a homemade sign reading "Welcome Home Papa."
He adds that "The message or caption for the photo was: 'How is this for a welcome home? I am so blessed (happy face).' The image has the website URL 'EXPIREDPLUS.COM' placed within the posted image that automatically links to Boris Slivka's business website, ExpiredPlus.com."
Numerous other photographs are described in the complaint, including Wilson's daughter blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, captioned "Our little girl turned seven last week ..." and a picture of Slivka and Wilson's son at a baseball game, with the caption: "After long day at the office it's time for some family fun time - watching the Nationals kick Philly butt."
Wilson accuses Slivka of using pictures of the children fort advertising without the written consent of a parent, violating their privacy rights and exploiting them for commercial gain.
"As a consequence of defendant's unlawful exploitation of the plaintiff minor children, they have suffered injuries sustained by reason of such use of their images in defendant's advertising and trade activities in contravention of the law," the complaint states. "The extent of the injuries are as yet unknown and may consist of psychological or developmental damage which could manifest as the children mature."
Wilson says his kids want $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in exemplary damages.
He is represented by Raymond Benzinger, of Arlington.
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