Nancy Benoit 1964-2007
The Supreme Court will allow a lawsuit to move forward against Hustler Magazine over nude photographs that were released of Nancy Benoit after she was murdered by her WWE wrestler husband.
Hustler published photos that were taken when the slain woman was 20-years-old. According to Benoit’s next-of-kin, the magazine took advantage of the international notoriety of the double homicide and suicide, going to press with decades old nude photographs after Chris Benoit killed his wife and their son Daniel before taking his own life in 2007.
Nancy Benoit’s parents Paul Toffoloni, Maureen Toffoloni and her sister Sandra Toffoloni Sanchez filed a federal lawsuit against the Larry Flynt Publishing Group, claiming that the young woman had a change of heart and asked the photographer to destroy the images immediately after the photo shoot.
Initially, a federal judge ruled in the magazine’s favor in October 2008. The lawsuit was dismissed at that time after the court ruled that the magazine had a right to publish as a “legitimate matter of public interest and concern.”
Last year, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reversed the judge’s ruling, saying the magazine had no right to publish the photos.
The case is LFP Publishing v. Toffoloni, 09-625. On Monday, March 1, 2010, Hustler lost an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will pave the way for Nancy Benoit’s family to proceed with their lawsuit.
Crime scene still photos on video loop and Chris Benoit’s last words below: