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    Milk Writer: Private Photo Drama on the Internet

    Dustin Lance Black AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

    Dustin Lance Black has a lot to look forward to this month. Not only is the Oscar-winning writer of Milk being honored tonight in L.A. by gay youth-mentoring group LifeWorks, but in a couple of weeks he will be one of three grand marshals of New York City's Pride March.

    There's so much more, but it's too much to list here.

    Sadly, earlier this week, Black was confronted with the ugly side of being a public figure…

    A website posted three-year-old photos of Black engaged in what appears to be risky sex.

    "It is unfortunate that individuals and other outside parties are trying to profit from material which is clearly private," Black said in the statement released to me Friday afternoon. "I have had the privilege to speak to people across the country, both gay and straight, on a number of critical issues including safe sex. More important than the embarrassment of this incident is the misleading message these images send. I apologize and cannot emphasize enough the importance of responsible sexual practices."

    A source tells me that the other man in the photo is someone Black was dating at the time. Black's lawyers are said to be seeking legal action to stop distribution of the pics.

    Fortunately, my source said, Black is not allowing this hiccup to stop him from continuing his work in support of gay rights, particularly on issues pertaining to young people.

    (Originally published June 12, 2009 at 9:45 p.m. PDT.)

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