The family of slain Nancy Benoit, Chris Benoit’s wife, last year filed a lawsuit against Larry Flynt Publishing after they published the Nancy Benoit Hustler pics not even a year after her death. A court favored in Hustler’s defense, deeming the nude photos were “newsworthy”. Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the decision. Read more about the story plus photos and video below.
Richard Decker, the Benoit family lawyer, said:
“When this came out, it was like she had been murdered all over again. It was just horrible. These photographs would have never made it to Hustler because they just weren’t raunchy enough without the notoriety.”
The Nancy Benoit Hustler pics featured full frontal nudity along with other “suggestive poses”. She posed for the pics and video back in 1983, when she was working as a model. She was not married to her wrestler husband, Chris Benoit, at the time.
Nancy Benoit’s mother, Maureen Toffoloni, who is the administrator of her estate, said that the photographer who took the pics promised that the pictures were destroyed at the request of Benoit. Obviously he did not, as the Nancy Benoit Hustler pics were published.
A U.S. district judge in October 2008 threw the family’s case out and took Hustler’s side, deeming the nude photos were “newsworthy”. The family appealed. On Thursday, that decision was reversed, citing that although Benoit’s death was newsworthy, the nude photographs certainly not. The Nancy Benoit Hustler pics were published without the consent of her estate, thus violating Benoit’s privacy.
“The photographs by themselves serve no legitimate purpose of disseminating news … and needlessly expose aspects of the plaintiff’s private life to the public,” the appeals court wrote. “Indeed, people are nude every day and the news media does not typically find the occurrence worth reporting.”
In June 2007, wrestler Chris Benoit killed himself after he shot and killed his wife, Nancy, and their 7-year-old son Daniel at their family home.
More pictures and video below.
Photos: www.wenn.com/Carrie Devorah