DiCaprio sues Playgirl over nude photos

Friday, March 27, 1998

Leonardo DiCapr...
Photo by AP photo
Leonardo DiCaprio

“Titanic” star Leonardo DiCaprio sued Playgirl Thursday in hopes of keeping the New York-based magazine from running nude pictures of him in its July issue.


DiCaprio, 23, claims he found out about the magazine's plan to publish nude pictures of him 10 days ago. According to the lawsuit, Playgirl has refused repeated requests to identify the source of the pictures or to let DiCaprio look at them.


The 21-page lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeks unspecified damages for invasion of privacy and emotional distress. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to prevent the magazine from publishing or distributing the photographs.


But Kathleen Giulini, spokeswoman for Playgirl, said that the magazine plans to assert its First Amendment press rights to publish the pictures.


DiCaprio alleges that publication of the photos would be “offensive and objectionable,” and that a “reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities (would) not want to disclose in a nationally published magazine … his completely naked body, including full frontal nudity.”


According to some reports, the pictures come from either an upcoming film or from Total Eclipse, a small-budget film DiCaprio made three years ago.


“Mr. DiCaprio is confident that his rights will be protected by the courts, and will not tolerate Playgirl or any other person or entity's illegal exploitation of his name and likeness,” a statement released by his publicist said.


In a brief written statement, Playgirl said it “has not even seen the complaint and therefore has no comment at this time.”


The magazine's Internet home site shows a picture of a clothed DiCaprio next to the tagline: “Where your wildest fantasies are just a keystroke away.” Below the picture, the magazine tells its readers that the site “contains the world's most gorgeous men-totally nude.”


Playgirl faced a similar lawsuit last summer when Brad Pitt sued the magazine to keep it from publishing two-year-old nude photos of him. A Los Angeles judge later barred the company from distributing any more copies of that magazine pending appeals.


– First Amendment Center staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.