NEW YORK – A Russian tennis star cannot stop a photographer from distributing topless pictures taken of her during a magazine photo session three years ago, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey (search) wrote that Anastasia Myskina's rights were not violated when topless photographs were published in a Russian magazine with an article weeks after she won the 2004 French Open.
Myskina was 20 years old when the photographs were taken and insisted she did not understand a photo release form with her signature on it and was not fluent in English at the time.
"Absent allegations of fraud, duress or some other wrongdoing, Myskina's claimed misunderstanding of the release's terms does not excuse her from being bound on the contract," the judge said in a ruling signed last week.
Myskina's lawyer, Alexander Berkovich (search), said Tuesday that the tennis player was considering her options but he didn't know if he would appeal.
"Obviously, we're disappointed with the decision," he said.
The topless photos were taken after Mark Seliger photographed Myskina for the cover and interior of the Gentleman's Quarterly "Sports" issue in 2002 as part of a pictorial and profile of female tennis players.
Myskina said in court papers that the photographer had asked if he could take the pictures "for himself" and she said he could, as long as they were not published.
The lawsuit sought $8 million in damages from Seliger, GQ and its corporate parent, Conde Nast. A message left for a lawyer for the publications and the photographer was not immediately returned Tuesday.