Man Sued Over Pic Of Topless Woman At Empire State Building Redefines “Tourist Attraction”

Oh, the sights you can see from atop one of New York City’s Empire State Building! Over there is the Statue of Liberty! And look, yonder! It’s a young hipster just rolling out of bed at noon on a Thursday! But one sight the landmark building’s management didn’t want visitors to see on the Observation Deck was a topless model taking it off for a photographer’s camera.

The management of the Empire State Building is now suing a photographer for (cue Dr. Evil voice) $1 million after he snapped pics of a topless model on the 86th floor observatory, reports Reuters.

The whole thing went down in August when the model took her top off during what we’re going to call a “photo shoot” because the photographer used his cell phone to capture the images.

Anyway, because this is the Empire State Building and not the [Insert Clever Pun For Lady Parts] Building, the owners are outraged, saying the spot is a tourist attraction and nudity isn’t something fit for kids to see in that setting.

“We were doing a social experiment,” said the photographer, who does admit that while he’s taken a series of photos to test the NYC rule that prevents police from arresting topless women in public, this time he wasn’t working as a professional.

“I am a professional photographer, but that doesn’t mean that every time I touch a device with a camera on it I must be conducting a photo shoot,” he said.

The lawsuit claims that the photos were taken “for his own commercial purpose” and damaged the landmark’s “reputation as a safe and secure family friendly tourist attraction.”

It’s worth pointing out that no security guards attempted to stop the photographer, he says. It was only after the photo went viral that the building’s management got upset.

Photographer sued over topless photo atop Empire State Building [Reuters]

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  1. MathManv2point0 says:

    “series of photos to test the NYC rule that prevents police from arresting topless women in public,”

    Is the observation deck of the Empire State private or public property? I’m pretty sure it’s private property that is open to the public (for a fee). I doubt the photographer really thought it was the same thing as public property but I am sure he is enjoying the extra press. Kudos to him. Now pay up and consider it a marketing cost.