Woman takes case against Girls Gone Wild to Supreme Court

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

According to records obtained by Channel 2 Action News, Lindsey Boyd was just 14 years old when a picture of her appeared on the cover of the video, which claimed to show "college girls exposed."

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - A case about a Cartersville woman who appeared in a Girls Gone Wild video is headed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

According to records obtained by Channel 2 Action News, Lindsey Boyd was just 14 years old when a picture of her appeared on the cover of the video, which claimed to show "college girls exposed." Boyd said neither she – nor her parents -- gave consent, or even knew.

The eighth-grader's image also appeared in Girls Gone Wild commercials that aired nationwide, according to court records. Boyd, who is now 26-years-old, spoke to Channel 2's Rachel Stockman because she believes Georgia law should change.

"It seems like a simple case: 14-year-old girl exploited over a video. It seems wrong to me but there are just no laws against it," Boyd said.

Boyd, who grew up in Marietta, said she went on the supervised spring break trip to Panama City, Fla. She said a group of men with a video recorder approached her and her friends.

"They didn't have big equipment with them or Girls Gone Wild T-shirts on them," Boyd said.

The men offered her a beaded necklace if she flashed them. Boyd said she did. Unbeknownst to her, the men then sold the videotape to Girls Gone Wild, documents said.

"You just don't think a stupid split-second decision could follow you for the rest of your life," she said.

In 2004, Boyd sued the company of Joe Francis, who owns Girls Gone Wild, in federal court for "misappropriation of likeness for commercial purposes." The case has been caught up in the court system for eight years. Boyd said after the video came out she was harassed and bullied by faculty and students at school. She changed high schools three times.

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Francis, the creator of Girls Gone Wild, has faced numerous lawsuits related to his videos over the years. Boyd's attorney, Jeff Banks, said his case has been continually stalled because of the other litigation against Francis.

But on Aug. 27, Federal Circuit Judge Julie E. Carnes sent a certified question to the Georgia Supreme Court, asking the justices to answer whether, among many questions, a 14-year-old girl can consent to being videotaped, and then distributed for commercial purposes. In her opinion, Carnes wrote: "Unfortunately, the very scant Georgia law on this subject provides no clear answer as to whether the plaintiff has a viable claim."

Boyd is speaking out because she believes that Georgia law should change on the matter and that Girls Gone Wild should face consequences for what they did to her life.

A phone call to the Girls Gone Wild attorney about this story has not yet been returned.

"I think there should be laws to protect kids. I mean, yeah, I made a stupid decision -- but I was 14," said Boyd.


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