A California woman who works in the adult film industry under the stage name “Bonnie Rotten” is suing a fellow porn star, claiming video stills and a scene they shot together was made available to the public without her consent.
Alaina Hicks filed a lawsuit May 7 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Paul F. Little, Film West Production and Maxhardcoretv.com, alleging appropriation of her identity, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The suit claims the defendants posted a scene and still photos from an adult movie filmed in 2012 between Hicks and Little, who performs under the stage name “Max Hardcore,” without her permission.
Little, according to the suit, is a California resident who runs an internet video service and for-pay website that distributes videos produced by him and Film West Production on its website Maxhardcoretv.com. The suit claims he sentenced to prison on obscenity charges in 2008 in Florida and is frequently depicted in his films degrading women.
Hicks alleges that in July 2013, Little used his “MaxHardCore100? Twitter account to post links to a website where people could purchase the scene between the two of them and still photos from the movie. She also accuses him of making defamatory comments about her on Twitter and under each still picture on his website.
In addition to being available to paying members of certain adult movie websites and to those who purchased a DVD, Hicks claims non-paying viewers, including those in Illinois, were able to see the still photos and scene of her and Little.
She claims the scene was filmed even though she didn’t sign a model release agreement and never gave the defendants permission “to distribute, market or post on the internet for public viewing any depiction of her name, likeliness, photograph, image or voice.”
The suit alleges that anyone who conducted an internet search of her and Little’s stages names had access to the scene between July 13 and July 15, 2012. It also notes that as of May 6, still photos and animated GIFs of the scene are still on the internet.
Hicks asserts the photos, scene and Little’s comments have damaged her character, reputation and career, which the suit notes includes being dubbed the 2014 Adult Video News female performer of the year.
In her intentional infliction of emotional distress count, Hicks states she was under the age of 21 and had not yet performed in film at the time she shot the scene with Little. She claims the defendants should have known the release of the scene would cause her “to become distressed.”
Each of Hicks’ three counts seeks $50,000 in damages. She also asked for punitive damages, attorney’s fees, costs and any profits the defendants made from their use of her identity, as well as injunction preventing them from marketing, using or seeking commercial use of her identity under the Right of Publicity Act.
Electronic court records show a judge allowed an injunction on May 23 and then denied an injunction on May 29. It also appears the court set a June 12 deadline to amend the complaint and a July 15 hearing in the matter.
Hicks is being represented by Chicago attorney Karl E. Hunsicker of Law Offices of Karl E. Hunsicker. Records do not list an attorney for the defendants.