Massachusetts v. Portnoy

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Police Activity

Date: 

08/12/2011

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Massachusetts

Disposition: 

Material Removed

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
David Portnoy runs a sports and humor blog entitled Barstool Sports, which the Boston Globe calls a "popular and controversial" website. Late in the week of August 8, 2011, Portnoy posted a picture of toddler child Benjamin Brady,... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

David Portnoy, BarstoolSports.com

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Media Company

Location of Party: 

  • Massachusetts

Location of Party: 

  • Massachusetts
Description

David Portnoy runs a sports and humor blog entitled Barstool Sports, which the Boston Globe calls a "popular and controversial" website. Late in the week of August 8, 2011, Portnoy posted a picture of toddler child Benjamin Brady, son of New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady and model Gisele Bundchen. The picture was taken by a paparazzi photographer while the family were vacationing at a beach. The toddler was naked in the picture, with genitals exposed.

According to Boston's Weekly Dig and Deadspin, Portnoy, among other things, referred to the child's genitals as a "howitzer." This prompted widespread condemnation and outcry. Portnoy also created a series of t-shirt designs depicting the nude toddler with an actual howitzer in sexually suggestive positions.

Portnoy initially received a cease and desist letter from a modeling agency that represents Gisele Bundchen, which Portnoy claims he ignored. Following this, according to the Globe and The Smoking Gun, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley dispatched police officers to visit Portnoy's home in Milton, Massachusetts on Friday, August 12, 2011. Portnoy describes the encounter on his website, saying that the police were "friendly, non threatening and basically just said they were getting lots of complaints . . . and it would be in the best interest of everybody involved if I’d just take [the photographs] down." Attorney General Coakley told the Globe that her office had  received several complaints about the photographs and that the photographs were "troubling, to say the least."

Portnoy complied with the request to remove material, and AG Coakley has indicated that she views the matter as closed.

Details

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Children
  • Legal Threat
  • Intrusion
  • Obscenity
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Massachusetts
CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

RSS