Anger as Utah judge orders woman to hand over nude photos to her ex-husband

‘I would assume that those images would belong to me since they are of my body,’ 43-year-old Lidnsay Marsh told The Independent on Thursday

Andrea Blanco
Friday 14 October 2022 18:54 BST
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(Lindsay Taylor/Facebook )
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When Lindsay Marsh filed for divorce in April 2021, she thought she would be the one to keep an album of boudoir photography gifted to her ex-partner years before.

“I would assume that those images would belong to me since they are of my body,” Ms Marsh told The Independent on Thursday. “He didn’t ask for any [pictures] of our children. He didn’t ask for any of our family, any of our pets.”

Instead, Ms Marsh’s ex-husband, 45-year-old Chris Marsh, initially requested to keep the album of pictures containing nudity, she said. His request was legitimised by a divorce judge in Davis County, Utah, who ruled in favour of Mr Marsh’s argument that the album was a memento of their failed marriage, The Salt Lake Tribune first reported.

Judge Michael Edwards said that Mr Marsh could keep a redacted version of the album with the written inscriptions in it as long as a third party censored the pictures, which Ms Marsh said is a violation of her privacy.

“In those moments in your marriage, you believe you can trust your partner ... and then to ask for something like that, like you’re just a piece of their property, like you belong to them, somehow, it is unimaginable to me,” Ms Marsh, who shares three adult children with her ex-husband, said.

The divorce was finalised in July and Ms Marsh was ordered to hold onto the boudoir album for 90 days in case Mr Marsh decides that the “edits” are not to his agreement. When that time is up, however, Ms Marsh knows exactly what to do to get rid of the pictures for good.

“Burn them. I’m gonna have a party with all of my old friends, the new friends I’ve made along this journey, and we’re gonna burn them,” Ms Marsh told The Independent.

Ms Marsh said that although her ex-husband had initially asked for the uncensored pictures of her nude body, he later retracted and said he only wanted the album because of the footnotes she had written in it.

Lindsay Marsh
Lindsay Marsh (Lindsay Marsh/Facebook )

“He'd ask for the entire book back,” she said. “Somewhere along the line, I don't know if he got advice from his attorney or if it was somebody else, then all of a sudden it was, 'I just want the inscription.”’

Mr Marsh told CNN in a statement that he had only ever requested the album because of what his former wife had written in it. Meanwhile, Ms Marsh has said that even the written inscriptions she once penned as a loving wife shouldn’t have been awarded to Mr Marsh.

“These were things that were written between a wife and her husband, and it was how I felt at the time. It’s not how I feel now,” she said.

“And to have these three men decide what gets to happen and who gets to see my body was very shocking,” Ms Marsh said, referring to her husband, his lawyer, and Judge Edwards. “I don’t want anybody to be in this situation ever. Nobody should ever have to feel like they belong to somebody else.”

The decision was a reflection of the misogyny in the Utah court system, Ms Marsh said, and evidence of her ex-husband’s wish to have control over her.

Lindsay Marsh
Lindsay Marsh (Lindsay Marsh/Facebook )

“I feel the only reason you would ask for these is because you don't see me as a person. You see me as an object,” she told The Independent.

“I think it is just disturbing that we have judges out there who are sitting on the bench, who are making these rulings, who are deciding people’s futures, deciding their lives, and they’re not even looking at all the evidence,” she added

A silver lining of the strenuous battle to regain ownership of her private pictures has been the outpouring of support that her family, friends and even strangers have shown after she decided to be outspoken about her divorce, Ms Marsh said.

“I have met a lot of amazing people who have come out to show support. People I know really well,” she said.

“People that were acquaintances, complete strangers who have reached out and are just in awe that something like this could happen. There’s also been people who have felt violated themselves, that have stepped forward, that have said, ‘Thank you for speaking up for those of us.”’

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