Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Solano v. Playgirl, Inc
The January 1999 issue of Playgirl magazine showed Jose Solano, Jr., one of the main characters in “Baywatch” from 1996 to 1999. The picture showed him shirtless and in the red lifeguard trunks which were his “Baywatch” uniform. The heading read: “TV Guys. PRIMETIME’S SEXY YOUNG STARS EXPOSED.” Other suggestive headings ran across the page from left to right and from top to bottom, touting various sex toys, sex techniques and nude centerfolds of celebrities. One actually read: “Baywatch’s Best Body, Jose Solano.” The effect of the cover, taken in conjunction with the magazine’s routine practice of presenting photographs of men in various nude and explicit poses was to suggest that Solano appeared in nude photos inside the magazine. In truth, Solano appeared only as a quarter-page photo of him dressed in tee shirt and sweater, with a quarter-page profile. He sued Playgirl, on the ground that it had intentionally created the false idea in the public that he was willing to sell himself to such a magazine. The trial court granted summary judgment to Playgirl and Solano appealed. The court of appeals granted review.
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