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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5732
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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A friend of mine has some revealing photos of me. I consensually

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A friend of mine has some revealing photos of me. I consensually let her take the photos at the time. At a point in our friendship I commented that she could blackmail me with them. I didn't make this comment as a joke, but I also didn't make the comment to give permission. It was just a random comment in passing at the time.

Some time later, apparently that's what she decided to do. She has started to demand money to keep them private.

Do I have any legal ground since she took the photos with my permission? Or if she simply took my comment seriously?

I have spoken with he to express my dislike of it, asked her to stop, etc. and I am not gaining any ground with the conversation.

I live in MN, she now lives in FL.
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

Even though you may have voluntarily consented to the taking of the photos, her demanding money to not reveal them to the public at large is a crime that is know as extortion. Demanding money in exchange for not revealing some private matter, even though it may be legal to reveal the private matter, is extortion (aka blackmail) and is unlawful. Even if she legally owns the rights to the film or electronic files, absent your consent to have your image released to the public (i.e., publishing rights) they cannot legally be published without your permission.

What I might suggest you do is start recording these conversations, texts, emails, however she is making these demands, then file a report with the police. That should get you the resolution you are seeking.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've done some research before posting here, and most of what I found said that the "police wouldn't touch it" or that they'd have so little they could do anyway, leaving most of the legwork to me unless I hire an attorney to go after her.


Any thoughts on this? Would a trip to the local PD and speaking with someone there actually get the ball rolling?


Also, is this a civil or criminal matter? If it's civil then I can see why the police wouldn't (or couldn't) do anything.

Both your local police and the FBI (the publishing of photos being an interstate crime) would have jurisdiction on the matter. You may get a lack of interest from the county prosecutor. In similar matters, I have found that the county prosecutor will take the matter and prosecute it. It may be the case that your local prosecutor will not take it. In that case I'd suggest your taking it to the FBI, and the attorney general would most certainly take it. It is a criminal mater.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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