SexBrat.com Wins Round in Bosley Case

Rhett Pardon
CINCINNATI – A federal appeals court has lifted a preliminary injunction order blocking SexBrat.com from publishing photos and video of Catherine Bosley, the former anchorwoman who resigned last year after nude pictures of her taking part in a wet T-shirt contest surfaced.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the ban restrained free speech.

Bosley, who removed all of her clothing and engaged in extensive nude dancing at a bar during her vacation, has said that she wouldn’t have participated in the contest if she knew pictures would have ended up on the web.

She resigned as news anchor at WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio, after her superiors found out about what she did on her vacation in Key West, Fla., last year.

After SexBrat.com claimed it obtained rights to the video and broadcast it over the Internet, Bosley filed a lawsuit alleging SexBrat.com used her public persona without permission.

“The First Amendment clearly protects SexBrat and its audience from celebrities who try to prevent free expression of newsworthy material and information of public concern over the Internet,” Seattle attorney Derek Newman, who represented SexBrat.com in the case, told XBiz. "But it appears the case is leaning toward Bosley. We expect to lose in trial and win in appeal."

Brian Marchlewicz of SexBrat.com, said the former anchorwoman was apparently embarrassed by her own conduct, “but her fan base and those who trust local news reporters have a right to know about her irresponsible cavorting in a Key West bar.”

Seattle-based Marvad Corp., which runs SexBrat.com, was the first adult site to market the Paris Hilton sex tape with ex-boyfriend Rick Solomon.

Last month, a district judge sided with Bosley and ordered SexBrat.com to remove the images from its Web site. But Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 6th District put a hold on that order.

The Bosley videotape first surfaced after a Tampa, Fla.-based company called DreamGirls leaked the content onto the web. Sexbrat.com claims to have secured the licensing rights from DreamGirls and marketed the video.

Bosley worked as anchor for 10 years at the station and was vacationing with her husband after recovering from a deadly lung disease when she participated in the contest serendipitously, she said.

She appears on stage for all three rounds of the contest and then at the time of the final judging, she takes off her clothes. The prize money for the contest was no more than $300.

“It was just a spur of the moment, silly, irresponsible thing to do that I regretted a great deal the next morning,” Bosley told reporters earlier this year.

“I know that I have to set a standard and I’m a bit of a role model so I take responsibility for what I’m supposed to be held up to,” Bosley said. “This definitely goes down in one of those categories of what was I thinking? What was I thinking?”

Bosley last month testified that she never gave permission to broadcast nude images and streaming video across the Internet.

The former news anchor said she was aware that everyone could see her performance and some had cameras, but she was not aware of any video recorders. She said she thought those in the crowd were college students and that ‘‘the worst that could happen was that they would end up with a picture of me in their dorm room.’’

Internet research group Terra Lycos said that in late January, Bosley bumped a naked Paris Hilton off of the top slot for searches after her pictures circulated on the web. The pictures even trumped Britney Spears, Pamela Anderson and Kazaa for top search terms.

“We continue to get a lot of traffic of the footage because this is a big story in the Midwest,” Sexbrat spokesman Kevin Blatt told XBiz.