Ruling in family of Nancy Benoit v. Hustler case

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper is reporting that Hustler magazine will have to pay damages to the family of Nancy Benoit for publishing her old nude photos in one of their issues after she was killed by her husband Chris Benoit. The Larry Flynt-owned publication fought the lawsuit saying that the photographs were newsworthy however U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr., had a different view about it and said that the company published the photos in their March 2008 issue purely for profit.

“No reasonable juror could conclude that [Larry Flynt Publishing] did not publish the photographs and the article for financial gain,” the Judge wrote. “The evidence shows that LFP made significant profits off the March 2008 issue and that the reaction to the Benoit photographs was ‘huge and

overwhelmingly positive.'” A jury trial will be held next to determine the damages that the company has to pay. “The family is ecstatic about the ruling,” the family’s attorney, Richard Decker, told the AJC on Wednesday. It’s what we thought should be the case. Hustler said it was a jury case, but the judge said no. Now, the only issue is how much the damages will be.”

The magazine carried a headline of “Wrestler Chris Benoit’s wife murdered wife nude” with the spread in the inside pages. The photos were snapped 20 years earlier after Nancy expressed interest in entering the adult industry.

(Thanks to Colin Vassallo)