Maryann Sahoury's goal was to teach others about breastfeeding. Instead, she learned a few lessons herself: To read things before you sign them. And that people can be creeps.
After her daughter was born three years ago, Sahoury worked with a lactation consultant to "overcome her fears of breastfeeding," according to papers filed with the US District Court in Newark, and quoted by the website CliffviewPilot.com.
That consultant asked Sahoury to participate in an instructional video, to be posted on the Meredith Video Network website as well as tv.parent.com and YouTube. She agreed, the court documents say, "because she felt her own personal experience would be insightful and helpful to other first-time mothers who are considering breastfeeding."
She says she was very clear that she did not want her name, or her daughter's, made public, and that the producers gave her verbal assurance the video would be anonymous. But at one point before filming she was hastily asked to sign a piece of paper, which turned out to be a complete waiver. She says she learned this when she happened to Google herself one day and found a video created by a third party, combining "actual footage from the breastfeeding video with pornographic video using a woman with similar features and stature."
Her name was on that porn video. So was her daughter's. Lest there be any doubt that her privacy had been shattered, she soon received a Facebook friend request from the creator of the cut-and-combine. Frightened, she closed her account. (His has apparently been closed as well, or made private, because it does not come up in a Facebook search.)
Now she is suing the producer of the original nursing video for, quite literally, exposing her.
Yesterday a judge ruled against Meredith's request that the suit be dismissed, saying the company "should have known that such careless actions would result in damage to Sahoury and [her daughter]."
Of course the person Sahoury would really like to sue cannot be found -- at least not thus far (she and a team of lawyers are looking). All she knows is that he goes by the name "Nizarddd" online, and that she can't completely scrub his handiwork from the Web.
The fact that someone would take a breastfeeding video and equate it with pornography rather than nutrition speaks to how far we still need to go before nursing is just another thing mothers do, rather than fodder for fantasy and perversion.
There are birth videos on the Internet also, Nizarddd. Please tell me you don't get off on those, too.
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.
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