A softcore porn actress is suing Daily Mail’s parent company Associated Newspapers Ltd. for $3 million, accusing one of the most-read news sites in the world of putting her photo on an article about an HIV positive adult actress without her permission.
Danni Ashe sued the British paper on Tuesday. According to court documents, an Aug. 22 article about a porn actress who had tested positive for HIV used a photo of Ashe for illustrative purposes.
Problem is, the article wasn’t about Ashe and the newspaper didn’t have her permission to use the photo. Ashe, the suit says, “has never tested positive for the HIV virus, nor has she ever had the HIV virus, nor has she ever been performer [sic] in the hardcore pornographic film industry.”
Ashe’s lawyer told TheWrap that “The Daily Mail could have easily avoided injuring Ms. Ashe by telling its readers up front that she was not the ‘female performer’ who had tested positive for HIV, but it chose not to in order to sensationalize the story at Ms. Ashe’s expense. Ms. Ashe was extremely saddened to learn that an actress had contracted the disease but also dismayed the Daily Mail would act recklessly in telling the story.”
Though the Mail removed Ashe’s image after she sent a cease and desist letter, it replaced it with a new photo (picture above) of another model that was blurred to obscure her identity and a disclaimer was placed on it to clarify that it was a stock image. The Mail never printed the retraction Ashe requested.
Ashe is accusing the Mail of causing “substantial damage” and “irreparably damage to her reputation together with shame and embarrassment.” She’s asking for at least $3 million, plus punitive damages and court costs.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.