In 1975, Gary Gross took a series of photos, two with full-frontal nudity, of a then ten-year-old Brooke Shields, with the consent of her mother, for the Playboy publication Sugar ‘n’ Spice. He paid Teri Shields $450 for the photos.
When Shield made her name with Louis Malle’s 1978 film Pretty Baby, the photos appeared on the cover of French magazine, PHOTO (July 1978) and was republished 2 months later in German version of the magazine.
In 1981, she sued Gross on the grounds that his continuing sale of them was damaging to her daughter’s reputation. Gross’s lawyers argued that his photographs could not further damage Shields’s reputation because, since they were taken, she had made a profitable career “as a young vamp and a harlot, a seasoned sexual veteran, a provocative child-woman, an erotic and sensual sex symbol, the Lolita of her generation”. Afterall, her role as child prostitute in Pretty Baby, included a scene in which her virginity is auctioned, and in 1980 she starred in Richard Avedon’s provocative advertising campaign for Calvin Klein Jeans.
“You know what comes between me and my Calvins?” Shields asked in one ad, which was censored by American TV networks, “Nothing!”
Edward J. Greenfield, a justice of the State Supreme Court of New York, ruled that while the pictures had “sultry, sensual appeal”, they were “not erotic or pornographic” and that Brooke would not suffer irreparable damage if they were republished; he ruled that Gross had not violated the terms of the release, and that Gross was not a pornographer: “They have no erotic appeal except to possibly perverse minds.”
Here are the photos.
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