Google is being threatened with a $100 million lawsuit over the nude celebrity photo hacking scandal.
In an Oct. 1 letter addressed high-ranking Google executives, prominent Hollywood attorney Marty Singer says his Los Angeles-based firm, Lavely & Singer, is representing “over a dozen female celebrities, actresses, models and athletes” who feel Google failed to remove explicit photos from its services after hackers stole them from the Apple iCloud and posted them online in August.
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“Google is making millions and profiting from the victimization of women,” Singer wrote to Google CEO Larry Page and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. “As a result of your blatantly unethical behavior, Google is exposed to significant liability and both compensatory and punitive damages that could well exceed One Hundred Million Dollars.”
Google did not yet respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment.
Singer says the vast majority of web sites, internet service providers and online hosts his firm asked to remove the images have complied in accordance with the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but Google “has recklessly allowed these blatant violations to continue in conscious disregard” for his clients’ rights.
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Singer did not specify who his clients were, but famous victims of hack included Jennifer Lawrence, Selena Gomez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst.
Singer is not only demanding any and all images be removed from Google’s search results, but also Google hosted sites, bloodspot accounts and YouTube accounts — plus suspension or termination of those accounts.
He also accuses the company of handling the hacking scandal as poorly as the NFL handled its players’ domestic violence offenses, like the blatant abuse Ray Rice dished out on his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
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“If your wives, daughters or relatives were the victims of such blatant violations of basic human rights, surely you would take appropriate action,” the letter continues. “But because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights, you do nothing – – nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue from your co-conspirator advertising partners as you seek to capitalize on this scandal rather than quash it. Like the NFL, which turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimized women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimize these women.”