While they may never be able to say "adios" to the paparazzi, Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo aren't sitting idly by as steamy photographs taken on their Mexican getaway make the tabloid rounds.
E! News has confirmed that Lachey has enlisted celebrity attorney Martin Singer to inform multiple magazines that they'll be playing with fire if they opt to publish the more graphic shots from a roll of film that supposedly features the singer and his TV personality paramour getting ultra-romantic in the hot tub at a private villa near Puerto Vallarta.
The July 9 issue of Life & Style already features shots of the couple frolicking on the beach, canoodling in the spa and nakedly toweling off (with all body parts censored) on the villa's patio. But Lachey, 33, and Minnillo, 26, are obviously in no mood to see the more intimate moments of their vacation become an international event.
"As a woman, my body is a temple, it's mine," a distressed Minnillo told OK! magazine. "So it was embarrassing. But we did nothing wrong."
"This is the girl that I love," added Lachey, no stranger to being caught on camera with the girl he loves. "It's tough to see someone you care about be unfairly judged. It's hard for me as a man to see my girl go through that. Everybody said it was a scandal. Where's the scandal? I was in Mexico with my girlfriend of a year, celebrating our anniversary on a private vacation.
"It's not like I was caught with a Mexican hooker. We've all gone out and had a few too many and done something stupid. We've all made mistakes. Unfortunately, as a celebrity, you're a target."
In his cease-and-desist letter to various publications, Singer has said that the photos, taken by a Mexican shutterbug on June 23 and 24, violated Mexican law and are a clear invasion of privacy, and that legal action would be forthcoming if any of the mags decided to publish the pics.
"I felt personally violated," Minnillo said. "If I was being disrespectful I would [have] expected to be punished, but I wasn't. It's wrong."
"For me, it was disheartening," Lachey said. "Is it acceptable to violate someone's private life and personal space? Is this what it's come to? We both knew when we came into this business we had to give up aspects of our privacy. But when someone is stalking you with a zoom camera lens, in my mind, that is overstepping the bounds."
The couple touched back down in Los Angeles Monday night after their publicly pleasant holiday.
When they're not able to get away from it all (or get away from nothing at all, really), Lachey and Minnillo split time between his L.A. home and her New York condo.
And, perhaps, whatever makes them almost file lawsuits together makes them stronger.
"I see even more now that Nick is the man I thought he was," Minnillo said. "He's very strong and has a good head on his shoulders. I know now he's definitely there for me. He has single-handedly pulled me through."