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Urban Outfitters Sued Over Sexy Underage Photos

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Parents of teen model Hailey Clauson have filed suit against Urban Outfitters. The Urban Outfitters lawsuit alleges that the store is using "salacious" photos of the underage model on some of the company's T-shirts without consent.

Clauson is only 16. The images used on some of the Urban Outfitters tees feature Clauson posing on a motorcycle with her legs spread in what her complaint calls a "blatantly salacious manner."

The images were shot by photographer Jason Lee Parry. Clauson's parents are seeking around $28 million in damages, according to ABC News.

Clauson's suit claims that while the model posed for the racy photographs willingly, Parry agreed not to release the photographs after her agency made a complaint, Time reports.

But, for whatever reason, the photographs appeared in a German magazine, Qvest. They then surfaced on Urban Outfitters t-shirts.

Parry defense: he not only owns the rights to the photographs but Clauson's parents gave consent to her participation in the photo shoot. Plus, her father saw some of the pictures after the shoot was completed, reports ABC News.

Who's correct? 

For one, it might boil down to who has the evidence on their side. If Clauson's parents are able to find documentation showing that Parry agreed to relinquish his rights to the photographs, or that he agreed not to publish them, they may have an easier time prevailing in the case.

People might also wonder whether or not the sexual images of Hailey Clauson could amount to child pornography. This question, however, would not be addressed in a civil matter like the Urban Outfitters lawsuit. And, whether or not Clauson's photos would be "child pornography" would turn on whether or not the images of her with her legs spread is "sexually explicit conduct" or is otherwise obscene enough to fit the definition of child pornography.

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