Former Child Playboy Model Sues Mother Over Naked Photos

French actress Eva Ionesco is suing her mother nearly 40 years after graphic photos of herself at age eleven were published in Playboy and Penthouse, among other titles.

Back in the early Seventies, Eva’s mother, Irina Ionesco, was a photographer well-known for her erotic, black-and-white portraits, which included many contentious shots of her daughter between the ages of four and twelve. One such set of photos was published in the October 1976 issue of Playboy, making Eva the youngest model ever in the title’s history. The controversy that the images sparked led to Irina losing custody of her daughter, who was subsequently raised by the parents of Christian Louboutin.

According to the Telegraph, this is the third time that the actress, now 47, has tried to sue her mother for “emotional distress” resulting from a “stolen childhood.” In 1998, police confiscated hundreds of erotic photos of Eva as a child from her mother’s apartment. The 77-year-old photographer has now been ordered to pay €10,000 in damages to her daughter and relinquish the negatives of the pictures, though Eva was unsuccessful in winning the €200,000 in damages that she sought, nor did she succeed in barring her mother from profiting from the photographs.

Eva’s lawyer, Jacques-Georges Bitoun explained what now seems like a shocking move on the part of Playboy to publish nude pictures of a child, calling the Seventies, “an era when pedophile networks still had a lot of influence,” and condemned the portraits as pornography, not art:

“How can one open the legs of a four year old girl and take a snap? If art is photographing a child in these positions, I understand nothing of art. The child is never presented as a child but as a ‘disguised prostitute’.”


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