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Myskina loses lawsuit against photographer, magazine

7/19/2005

NEW YORK -- Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina
can't stop a photographer from distributing topless pictures taken
of her during a 2002 magazine photo session, a federal judge ruled
Tuesday.
Myskina was 20 years old when the photographs were taken by Mark
Seliger, according to a written decision by U.S. District Judge
Michael Mukasey in Manhattan.
Mukasey wrote that the Russian star's rights were not violated
when topless photographs were published with an article weeks after
she won the French Open in 2004, despite her insistence that she
did not understand a photo release form with her signature on it
and was not fluent in English at the time.
"Absent allegations of fraud, duress or some other wrongdoing,
Myskina's claimed misunderstanding of the release's terms does not
excuse her from being bound on the contract," the judge wrote.
Myskina lawyer Alexander Berkovich said Tuesday he didn't know
if he would appeal.
"Obviously, we're disappointed with the decision"' he said.
The topless photos were taken after Seliger photographed Myskina
for the cover and interior of the Gentleman's Quarterly "Sports"
issue in 2002 as part of a pictorial and profile of female tennis
players.
Myskina said in court papers that the photographer had asked if
he could take the pictures "for himself" and she said he could,
as long as they were not published.
The lawsuit sought $8 million in damages from Seliger, GQ and
its corporate parent, Conde Nast. A message left for a lawyer for
the publications and the photographer was not immediately returned
Tuesday.