Models Report Their Images on Escort Website

     (CN) – Five models claim in court that a supposedly “classy” modeling site has been using their photos on pornographic websites for an escort service.
     The allegations come in five separate April 14 lawsuits against Phaze II Multimedia Inc., FashionGlama.com and two individuals, regarding modeling gigs for which the women were allegedly recruited in 2006 and 2007. Courthouse News has redacted each the individual names because of the explicit nature of the claims.
     Describing the business as a “classy” agency, the individual defendants identified themselves as “Sam” and “Kelly,” according to the complaints. They allegedly promised that professional photographers would give the models a free photo shoot and portfolio.
     Believing that FashionGlama would promote the women’s portfolio to top agencies, the women said they were told that the website would earn income only if the women got modeling jobs.
     Sam and Kelly allegedly turned out to be pseudonyms the defendants used.
     Each complaint gives a slightly different discussion of the “six-month contract” that the pair explained to the models.
     They all say Sam and Kelly told them that they would get to choose which photos would appear on the website, and that either party could terminate the six-month contract at any time.
     Three of the plaintiffs report having been given only one or two pages of the contract to go over, with the explanation that the document was unofficial until after the photo-shoot “audition.”
     They claim that they were denied legible copies of the full contracts.
     Years after those photo shoots, the plaintiffs say they discovered their photos were being used on a booking page for an adult escort business Kelly operates under the pseudonym Ayisha Cottontail.
     Most of the complaints allege that their photos are being used in sexually suggestive manners, appearing next to falsely attributed quotes about their supposed sexual activities, sexual preferences and body piercings.
     Claiming that each plaintiff’s real name is embedded with her modeling photos, they say that their names became searchable keywords on the sexually suggestive sites. One claims to have shortened her first name out of embarrassment.
     When another pushed to have her material taken off FashionGlama, the defendants retaliated by featuring her photos on the website and accompanying them with false statements like “[she] works as an immigration lawyer by day and does private shows by night,” one suit alleges.
     This plaintiff says the defendants also posted her business website address, resulting in her getting many male clients who appear to only want sexual favors. They allegedly cancel her services when their advances are unsuccessful.
     The use of the photographs in sexually explicit manners without permission has caused severe damage to the women’s reputations and peace of mind, according to the lawsuits.     
     Paul Abraham, an attorney at PJI Law in Fairfax for the plaintiff models, said in an email that the defendants have ignored “many opportunities” to resolve the issues outside of court.
     Certain that there are other women of whom FashionGlama has taken advantage, Abraham said he hopes the lawsuits will encourage others to come forward.
     “We know for a fact that there are additional women who believe that they were violated in a similar manner, and we hope that this action shows them that the legal system can provide an end to their nightmare,” Abraham said.
     Each plaintiff seeks punitive damages for unauthorized use of name or picture, fraud in the inducement, defamation, malicious injury of reputation and business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     FashionGlama did not respond to a request for comment submitted through its website.

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