Ex-beauty queen sues porn Web sites
By Samantha Murphy
(Court TV) -- A former West Virginia beauty queen has sued dozens of Web site operators for posting an Internet porn video falsely claiming to show her in a sex romp in the back of a Channel 13 news truck.
Allison Williams, who was named Miss West Virginia in 2003, filed the suit against 59 defendants -- in the United States, Australia, South Africa and The Netherlands -- who posted the phony sex video of the 23-year-old on their Web sites.
The Charles Town, W. Virginia, native discovered the video in August 2004 while performing an Internet search during her first week of law school.
According to Williams' spokeswoman Lavinia Mann Cummings, the star of the graphic video may be another Allison Williams -- but she is not the former pageant winner.
On some sites, the beauty queen's face appeared next to a video of an alleged reporter from Virginia, also named Allison Williams, who could not be reached for comment.
"These Web sites allege that the woman in the video is Miss West Virginia, but it's not," Cummings said. "Some sites even had her pageant picture next to the video."
Williams is seeking an undisclosed amount for reputation damage and emotional harm.
None of the Web site operators returned calls seeking comment.
Cummings also said that some Web site operators are ignoring Williams' lawsuit and are continuing to stream the video.
"Fortunately, some have already taken it down after she contacted them," Cummings said. "However, many people mocked her on blogs or in chat rooms."
Williams' legal team, led by Stephen LaCagnin, Andrew Wright and Woodrow Turner, contacted every site that posted the fake flick.
Wright said that none of the 59 defendants have responded to the lawsuit.
In October 2004, Williams' lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Web site called JuicyBucks.com. Although the site never responded, the lawsuit states, "Such defamatory materials were [later] altered such that the image of the plaintiff appeared to have brown eyes instead of her natural color, green."
However, JuicyBucks.com, along with many others sites, did not take down the video.
Several of the explicit sites not only profited from increased traffic, but some sites also required a $20 registration fee to see the end of the video.
One Web site boasts about getting 3 million hits in just one month and making a huge profit from Paris Hilton and Allison Williams sex tapes.
According to the lawsuit, Williams received a lot of attention after word of the video circulated.
"Ms. Williams began to receive a torrent of phone calls and e-mails from friends, family, acquaintances, classmates, and business associates as word spread about the existence of the sex tape," the suit claims.
"She is so hurt and outraged," Cummings said. "Her whole life has been turned upside down because of this. Law school is hard enough, but local and regional newspapers and radio stations have demoralized her."
"People stare at her at school and snicker behind her back," she said. "And it's so horrible because she had absolutely nothing to do with this."
Allison spent her year as Miss West Virginia doing charitable work and touring the state, speaking to others about broken homes and growing up as a child of divorced parents.
"She had such a good year. It's a shame she had to come back to this," Cummings said.
Cummings also said Williams dove into the pageant world to help earn extra money for law school.
"Allison started doing pageants because she came from a single-parent home and virtually had no money," Cummings said. "Her goal was just to get scholarships to help pay for schooling. She is a typical West Virginia average person. But she has been taken advantage of."
Williams, now in the middle of midterms, is hoping the lawsuit will help her get her life back -- and save her reputation.
"She is handling it really well, despite everything going on, and it's been so hard on her and her family," Cummings said. "She never believed something like this could happen. And if it could happen to her, it could really happen to anyone."