Empire State Building sues Allen Henson for $1m over topless photoshoot

Court papers say Mr Henson took the pictures for commercial purposes

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The Independent US

The management of the Empire State Building has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against a photographer who shot topless pictures of model atop of its 86th floor observatory.

The suit, filed on Monday, comes after an incident in August when a model climbed to the crowded observation deck and posed topless for 29-year-old photographer Allen Henson, who said he was using a mobile phone to take pictures.

In papers filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court,  ESRT Empire State Building said Mr Henson failed to request permission for the photo shoot on 9 August.

The suit claims Mr Henson caused "damage to its business and reputation as a safe and secure family friendly tourist attraction".

It also said it had to "divert management time, resources and attention to deal with the inappropriate objectionable conduct and potentially dangerous situation the defendant created."

The court papers also say: "the model removed her top and modelled for topless photos which were taken by Henson for commercial purposes."

It asked for $1.1million in damages and a court order barring Henson from returning to the building, according to the New York Daily News.

On his Facebook and Twitter page, Mr Henson said: "So I'm being sued for a million dollars in the NY Supreme court by the empire state building. This should be interesting... Stay tuned."


Mr Henson told the Daily News: ""Breasts are dangerous? I'll take the publicity but it's hard to take this seriously", and denied the shoot was undertaken for commercial purposes.

"It was not done to negate anybody's brand," he added.