Magazine ran a photo spread in its March 1997 issue titled "Grand Illusions." Photographs of famous movie stars were digitally altered in order to dress the actors in different clothes by top designers. The spread included an altered version of the publicity still for the 1982 movie Tootsie
, starring Dustin Hoffman. Los Angeles
magazine digitally redressed Hoffman by placing his head onto the body of a model wearing a "butter-colored silk gown by Richard Tyler and Ralph Lauren heels" (top).
Hoffman subsequently sued the magazine for $5 million, claiming his publicity rights had been violated and that use of his image deceptively implied a form of product endorsement.
The Federal District Court agreed with Hoffman and ordered the magazine to pay a total of $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the judgement, holding that the magazine spread was speech protected by the First Amendment, noting that if the entire article was taken in context, it was obvious the magazine had not intended to deceive readers.
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