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Breastfeeding video becomes porn, Fair Lawn mom sues

Photo Credit: Meredith Video Network

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Fair Lawn mother is suing the makers of an instructional breastfeeding video that got spliced into a porn film that has become a viral online hit.

COURTESY: Meredith Video Network


Fair Lawn mom whose breastfeeding video became porn can sue, judge rules

Tuesday, 07 August 2012 13:39 Jerry DeMarco

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A federal judge has cleared the way for a Fair Lawn mother to sue the makers of an instructional breastfeeding video that got spliced into a porn film and became a viral online hit. READ MORE….



The mother, identified in federal court papers only as M.S., has been struggling in vain to get the video removed ever since she found it during a Google search of her own name in “link after link linking her name to pornography and pornographic websites.”

Although a YouTube version was yanked, another surfaced less than 24 hours later, she said. As of last week, it had been viewed 2,500 times.

To top it off, the mother says, the video’s creator found her on Facebook and sent her a friend request.

It “included a collage of photos, which included legitimate photos of [the woman] breastfeeding [her daughter] and other pornographic photos, which appear to look like … but are not her,” the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Newark says.

It frightened her so much, the woman said, that she “frantically” checked all of her family’s privacy Facebook settings” and de-activated her account.

As part of her fight, the Fair Lawn mom is suing Meridith Corp., which she said promised that neither her nor her daughter’s name would be included anywhere in the nursing video, shot at their Fair Lawn home. Her daughter in nearly two years old, she said, and she doesn’t want the girl’s name in any way linked forever to a porn flick.

According to the suit, a “lactation consultant” helped the woman after her daughter was born in December 2009. Although she was leery at first, the woman said, she agreed to do the instructional video “because she felt her own personal experience would be insightful and helpful to other first-time mothers who are considering breastfeeding.”

She said she made it clear to the producer that wasn’t in any way seeking “compensation, celebrity status or publicity” for the piece, which was posted on the Meredith Video Network website, tv.parent.com and YouTube.

“The woman in charge of the video production specifically represented to both, M.S. and the lactation consultant, that the finished video would not disclose, either audibly or visually, the full name (first and last) of either M.S. and/or A.S.,” the suit alleges. “She also represented that the breastfeeding video would be used for educational and instructional purposes only and that the video would be shown on their website and cable TV.”

As she was putting her daughter in the car seat to leave, the woman said, the producer gave her a piece of paper to sign. “Without reading or reviewing” it, she said, she signed. It turned out to be a disclosure waiver.

Months later, the mother – who works in public relations – popped her own name into a Google search. She said she was “horrified” to find countless links to a video that “combined actual footage from the breastfeeding video with pornographic video using a woman with similar features and stature.”

The woman said she was also “mortified and shocked” to find both her and her daughter’s names used.

Had the names been left out, under her original agreement with Meredith Corp., there would have been no trouble, the woman argued. Instead, she said, she saw both of their names onscreen and heard her and her daughter referred to specifically.

The woman said she spent “countless hours and sleepless nights” fruitlessly trying to identify the sites linking to the video, as well as the video itself, “in her quest to repair her and her daughter’s damaged reputation[s].”

She “became consumed with looking each and every day and into the night to see what else would show up on the Internet. It took a tremendous emotional toll on her,” the complaint says.
And although she got some of the links removed after hiring a lawyer, others remain.

A little online detective work brought her to someone named “Nizarddd.” But there’s really no way of finding him. Rather, the mother says, the Iowa-based company and its affiliated companies should do so on her behalf.

In turn, she said, Meredith Corp. “offered to retain the services of a reputation management company” to help her. But that firm, Reputation.com, told her straight out that “no matter what they do, they will not be able to completely eliminate the pornographic videos and/or pornographic links from the search engines.”

Meanwhile,

people continue to latch on to new links that continue sprouting online, some of which have headlines that play off her daughter’s name, she said.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Harken, told New Jersey Law Journal that the waiver the woman signed Meredith the right to use her and daughter’s names. She said the company regrets “that someone has inappropriately used video that was meant to be educational” and has “gone to a great deal of effort and expense to remove the video from the offensive websites.”

The lawsuit, which names as defendants Meredith and its subsidiaries Meredith Video Studios and Parents TV, includes counts of common-law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, negligent infliction of emotional distress and equitable fraud.

The woman also wants a judge to order Meredith to stop using the video. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.




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