Brad Pitt Wins Another Round Against "Playgirl"

Judge orders issues featuring nude pics of actor to be pulled

By Joal Ryan Aug 08, 1997 1:00 AMTags
Bad nudes for Playgirl. A judge in Los Angeles today ordered a total recall of its August 1997 issues--issues featuring totally revealing photos of actor Brad Pitt.

But the ruling, which calls on the mag to pull its editions from newsstands (like you could find any there--the Pitt issue has been sold-out for weeks), was immediately put on hold when lawyers for Playgirl filed an appeal.

Still, today represented yet another court victory for Pitt against the beefcake publication. The 32-year-old movie star previously had prevailed in convincing the same judge to issue a restraining order against Playgirl, preventing it from shipping any more editions to vendors.

Kent Raygor, attorney for Playgirl, said the judge's latest ruling raised serious First Amendment concerns. He said it was the first time he could recall that a California court had gone so far as to block a publication.

Said Terry Francke, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition: "It is deeply troubling when a court acts as a direct censor."

Pitt's attorney, John H. Lavely Jr., could not be reached for comment.

The actor filed suit against Playgirl on July 14, 1997, shortly after the magazine went to press with its August 1997 issue, featuring the to-the-point cover headline: "BRAD PITT NUDE!" (The pics were surreptitiously snapped while Pitt vacationed with then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow, in the West Indies in 1995.)

In court papers, the onetime Sexiest Man Alive claims his unwanted appearance in Playgirl caused him emotional distress and humiliation, and even "severely harmed [him] in his occupation."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages--plus an injunction against the magazine, keeping the issue under wraps.

Raygor says all Playgirl did was republish photos that had been circulating for two years in some form on the Internet and in other publications--including ones in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the U.S.A.'s National Enquirer.

All this legal wrangling, meanwhile, has made the Brad Pitt Playgirl (sent to subscribers before the restraining order was put in place) an ultra-rare, ultra-valuable collectible. Issues are being traded for up to $100.