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Larry Flynt Buys Purported Nude Photos of Jessica Lynch

Pornmeister Larry Flynt (search) said he's bought purported nude photos of Iraq war heroine Jessica Lynch (search) - to keep them from ever being published.

Flynt's claim came as Lynch and her family were feted last night at a Glamour magazine reception at the American Museum of Natural History (search) - and on the day before her authorized biography is to be released.

"I was offered photos of Jessica Lynch. I purchased them in order to keep them out of circulation, not to publish them," Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, said in a statement read by a publicist.

"Jessica Lynch is being used as a pawn by the media and by the government to create a hero who can sell this war to the American people."

Flynt, no friend of the Bush administration or the Republicans, said the president is using Lynch "to justify the war in Iraq."

"The U.S. government wasn't alone in their actions," his statement said. "They were co-conspirators with the media, who wanted to force-feed us a Joan of Arc."

Flynt's spokeswoman declined to reveal how much he paid for the photos, or where they came from.

Rumors of nude photos of Lynch, 20, have been swirling for several months.

In September, two Army ex-comrades allegedly tried to sell topless pictures of Lynch to Globe, a supermarket tabloid, for $200,000.

Globe turned down the offer, and some reports questioned whether the pictures were in fact real.

A half-million copies of Lynch's authorized biography, "I Am A Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story," go on sale today.

The book, by former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg, discloses medical evidence that Lynch may have been sodomized after she was captured by Iraqi soldiers last March.

But Iraqi doctors say they didn't see any such evidence - and that they kept Jessica safe while she was in their care.

In an ABC News interview to air tonight, Lynch said the military was "wrong" to videotape her rescue April 1 from a hospital in the Iraqi town of Nasariyah, and that she's bothered by the military's portrayal of her ordeal.

"They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff," Lynch said.