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One Billion Bucks: Woman sues Playboy, others for filming her at Daytona wet T-shirt contest

DAYTONA BEACH — A woman who was 16 when she participated in a wet T-shirt contest featured in a Spring Break video is suing Playboy and others for about $1 billion in damages for the video’s filming and sale.

Monica S. Pippin, 19, claims that contest organizers and video producers violated federal laws barring sexual exploitation of minors and state laws preventing the use of someone’s name or image without permission to promote or sell a product.
Pippin appeared in the commercial video “Playboy Exposed: All American Girls,” as well as the pay-per-view show, “Girls Gone Crazy: Spring Break,” after participating in the contest at the Desert Inn in 2001.

Defendants include Lincolnwood Motion Pictures, which shot the video; Playboy Entertainment Group, which distributed the video and Deslin Hotels Inc., which owns the Desert Inn.

Pippins alleges the defendants “persuaded” or “induced” her to participate and concealed that the contest was being taped. She suffered mental pain and anguish and incurred medical bills related to her “continuing injuries,” the lawsuit claims.

Playboy denies that the video shows Pippin engaging in sexually explicit behavior, said the company’s attorney, Tom Julin of Miami. He said use of her likeness in the video falls under permitted uses spelled out by a judge in a similar case involving a Tallahassee college student featured in a “Girls Gone Wild” video shot in Panama City.

The Desert Inn’s attorney, Scott Sichon, said Monday that the hotel did not participate in the video’s filming and distribution and received no money from it. The hotel fired the disc jockey who ran the contest, Sichon said.

Pippin is seeking about $1 billion in damages, or roughly $50,000 for every copy of the video sold or distributed through pay-per-view, said her attorney, Arthur Tifford of Miami.

The case, filed in December 2002 in Tampa, is set to go to trial next year.



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