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HOME > America's Next Top Model > America's Next Top Model 8

Former 'Top Model 8' finalist Jael Strauss sues over provocative photos

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/01/2007 

Jael Strauss is comfortable with her body but apparently has an issue with provocative pictures she posed for being published without permission.

America's Next Top Model's eight-season sixth-place finisher filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging two men published steamy photographs of her without her permission, E! News reported Monday. 

The pictures of Strauss were taken in 2000 when she was 16-years-old and found themselves in the book "Beautiful: Nudes by Marc Baptiste" that was published in 2001 by Rizzoli/Universe Publications, according to the lawsuit.  While not all the photos -- some of which Strauss claims she was naked in -- made it into the book, E! News reported they eventually found their way onto the Internet once she became a Top Model 8 finalist.

"[The book's publication and the unsolicited Internet presence of the photos have] damaged [Strauss] in the beginning of her entertainment career and caused severe damage to her public image," court documents state, according to E! News.

Strauss alleges that her former agent Christopher Donahue allowed Baptiste -- both plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- to take "erotic photos" of her and then signed-off on the book without asking her parents' permission, according to E! News. 

In addition to invasion of privacy claims, Strauss is also suing for theft of image and unjust enrichment, claiming she was never paid for the use of the photos, according to E! News, which added she also accuses Baptiste of trying to "seduce her" after the photo shoot.

"During the shoots... Baptiste offered Jael alcohol, allegedly to calm her nervousness and to relax her," reads the lawsuit, according to E! News. "On returning from the shoot in Malibu to Jael's residence, Baptiste inquired whether Jael would like to have sex with him. She declined."

The Millennium Agency, which is where Donahue is employed, as well as Rizzoli/Universe are also named as plaintiffs in the suit, according to E! News.  Strauss is seeking unspecified restitution as well as both punitive and compensatory damages, E! News reported.

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