Blog Post

Mother Sues After Breastfeeding Video Found in Online Porn

A young mother from New Jersey is suing a media company after discovering that the instructional video she made for them on breastfeeding was being used in porn films on the Internet.

The Washington Times is reporting that MaryAnn Sahoury, 35, filed a lawsuit against against Meredith Corp., an Iowa-based media and marketing company that shot and produced the video of her breastfeeding her daughter for Parents TV. 

Sahoury says she was asked to make the video after using a  lactation consultant when her daughter was born in December, 2009.  The consultant later asked her if she wanted to appear in an instructional video to discuss her breast-feeding experiences and demonstrate nursing techniques. Sahoury agreed out of a desire to help other women overcome their anxieties about breastfeeding.

“I didn’t get paid to do this. I didn’t want to be some sort of celebrity,” said Sahoury. “I did this to help other moms.”

More than a year later, Sahoury Googled herself and was shocked to find numerous links to pornographic websites and videos containing her name. When she clicked on one, she was horrified to see an edited version of the video she made which included a woman with "similar features and stature" performing sex acts. When she Googled her daughter's name, the search turned up the same pornographic links.

From there on, she spent days and nights searching the Internet, trying to identify and report websites that contained the video. Although she was able to have some removed, and believes she may have found the perpetrator, she was not able to shut them all down. 

She contacted Meredith and, according to the lawsuit, says the company was initially very cooperative in helping to get the video taken down. However, when their enthusiasm began to wane, Sahoury decided to sue, claiming they promised that her full name would not be used.

Although she signed a paper at the conclusion of the video shoot that she admittedly didn't read, she assumed that it was written confirmation of the verbal promise she received that her name would not be used. It was actually a full release of "the video, voice, and name" to Meredith for both herself and her daughter.

In spite of this signed agreement, a federal court judge in New Jersey ruled last week that Sahoury's lawsuit could proceed.

She's hoping her situation will lead to greater awareness of Internet safety and exploitation and increased protections for breast-feeding mothers.

“Sometimes I want to crawl into bed and say, ‘God I wish it wasn’t me,’ but it was me for a reason,” she said. “I need to be as strong as I was when I made the video and say, look, I’m still supporting mothers everywhere, our rights to breast-feed wherever and whenever we want and not be exploited by major corporations or any kind of perverts.”

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