The Empire State Building (ESB ), a famous tourist attraction for families traveling to New York City, is now famous for X-rated photos, according to a Manhattan lawsuit filed by the owners of the world-famous building. Families covered their children’s eyes as a model stripped and posed for her photographer, Allen Henson.
The observation deck was the scene for the unauthorized, “inappropriate and objectionable” topless photo shoot on August 9, 2013, when Henson took pictures for his commercial “boobs around town project,” according to the ESB owners $1.1 million lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The suit claims Henson, an Iraqi war veteran turned photographer, acted in an illegal fashion by taking pictures of the busty brunette eye-catcher while she threw her hair back beside tourists and their children. According to the lawsuit, the model stripped off her shirt and posed topless while Henson snapped his commercial photos. The photo went viral, spreading across the internet like wildfire, enraging ESB owners.
While Henson and his model entered the building, it was jam-packed with tourists, families and children, according to Jessica Eyland, the Empire State Building’s attorney. The photo shoot took place on the observatory platform, one of the busiest and iconic areas of the building.
The unauthorized exploit has given the reputation of the “World’s Most Famous Office Building” a black eye and has forced security to increase personnel and amp up surveillance to prevent anymore unauthorized breaches.
Empire State Building personnel were never informed about the site for the nude photo shot, nor did Henson attempt to obtain permission to use the historic landmark for his commercial use, which Henson does not deny.
In order for the Empire State building to continue to attract families with children, ESB has to maintain a reputable, safe and secure place that visitors will find appropriate for tourists of all ages. The Empire State Building cannot be a site for nude photo shoots.
Henson faces the lawsuit with a sense of humor stating that no one wants to get sued but the issues brought forth in the suit sound accurate, he stated. He started his photography career three years ago after he was discharged from the military after serving six years. He just picked up a camera and started taking pictures. He has had moderate success with quite a bit of his pictures being published. Henson is happy his new career is taking off.
When he took the topless pictures on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, he stated that the photo shoot drew very little attention from nearby tourists and families who were viewing the city from 80-stories high. Henson stated the tourists were far more fascinated with the view than to notice him snapping a few pictures with his cell phone.
Henson’s ‘boob project’ exploits don’t end at ESB, Henson cast topless Cheyenne Lutek along with a male model in a rowboat in Central Park’s reservoir. Reportedly the trio were pursued by Central Park police. Henson and Lutek were also kicked out from an East Village restaurant, Verso, last year after Lutek disrobed at the bar and now Henson is facing being banned for using the Empire State Building as a site for a nude photo shoot.
By Deborah Baran