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South African Celeb Settles With Magazine Editor Over Fake Photos

South African Celeb Settles With Magazine Editor Over Fake Photos
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May 25, 2006 11:00 AM PST    Text size: 
PRETORIA, South Africa — Following publication of manipulated pictures that show her in compromising positions, South African celebrity Amor Vittone won a sizeable judgement against the magazine’s former editor. The Pretoria High Court ordered Eugene Goddard to pay $27,000 in damages.

Vittone is a model and former “Miss Johannesburg” and has appeared on many TV programs and released a series of hit dance records that have made her a celebrity in her native country. Vittone is referred to as the South African version of Victoria Beckham, after her singing career and marriage to a famous athlete.

Vittone had previously settled with the pornographic magazine, named Loslyf, for an undisclosed sum. The pictures, published in December 2004, show Vittone nude and performing sexual acts on herself, when in fact, it was not her posing, the court found. Derogatory remarks also were made about her breasts and her former rugby player husband, Joost van der Westhuizen.

Soon after the bogus photos hit newsstands, Vittone and her husband petitioned the court to stop printing and distribution of the issue. They succeeded, but some copies had already been sold.

The model claimed on the stand that six performances were cancelled, resulting in lost income. She also said the defamatory material would result in her fans thinking she associated herself with pornography and she was a woman of loose morals who engaged in “kinky sex,” she told the court.

“While some people find it amusing, other decent members of the community find this to be very offensive,” Judge Chris Botha said in awarding the judgement to Vittone.

Former Loslyf editor Goddard failed to appear in court.

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