04/05/2012 05:44 pm ET

Kris Humphries Naked Photos: Kim Kardashian's Friends Call Spread Desperate

Kim Kardashian's soon-to-be ex-husband, Kris Humphries, recently stripped down for a racy photo spread in WestEast magazine -- a move Team Kardashian calls desperate.

“The pictures are ridiculous and just go to show how far Kris is willing to go to remain in the public spotlight,” a friend of Kim’s tells me. “I haven’t spoken with Kim about them, but you know she will get a good laugh when she sees them.”

It is unclear why Kris decided to pose for steamy pictures at New York's Night Hotel, but the photo shoot's stylist thinks it has something to do with flipping the media script, which has so far portrayed the Nets player as the villain in the breakup.

“He’s a dude, he’s in great shape and very attractive and wanted to show that off," Derek Warburton tells me. "He was getting pulverized week after week on the cover of every magazine, and he’s cool. I wanted people to see that. This has blown up. Everyone is talking about Kris now.”

However, Kris' rep tells Hollywoodlife.com that the photos had nothing to do with getting back at Kardashian: "The allegations that he’s seeking revenge with this photo shoot are false and we remain adamant that personal issues will be handled by his legal team and not in the media.”

Onlookers are divided over whether the pictures will improve public perception of Humphries.

"The first-ever fashion shoot pictures of Kris Humphries are frankly ridiculous,” Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR tells me. “Humphries looks absurd and I fail to understand why he’d pose for such pictures. Seems Humphries wants his 10 minutes of fame to continue –- and while he’ll forever be known as the Kardashian ex, this shoot will keep him [in] mind. While Humphries is clearly good-looking and in great shape, I fail to understand how he may make money from this –- or who exactly from his fan demographic this photo shoot would appeal to.”

Cooper Lawrence, author of "The Cult of Celebrity," said he thinks this is the first step for Humphries to regain control of his image.

“He was completely emasculated by Kim and her family," Lawrence tells me. "It’s really important for him to take back some of his image, some of his manhood, some of his feeling like a sexy, desirable human being. I think she really duped him and hurt him. He seems to be as naïve as everyone says and I think this is his look at the moment to take back some of his self worth."




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