A New Jersey mother is suing the producer of an educational breastfeeding video that was eventually posted to various pornography websites.
In January of 2010, MaryAnn Sahoury of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, agreed to participate in an instructional video about breastfeeding, inspired by the great experience she had with her baby girl.
“Breastfeeding for me was the most rewarding thing I had ever done in my life,” said Sahoury to NBC New York. “I wanted to share that with people. I wanted to really give back.”
The video was put together by Meredith Video Studios, part of the Meredith Corporation. Before the shoot, Sahoury claims the producer told her the video would only be used for educational purposes. Instead however, the video was posted to youtube. After that, to Sahoury’s horror, it was taken by a third party, manipulated, and posted to several pornography websites.
“I was sick to my stomach,” said Sahoury. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just felt so paralyzed.”
Sahoury claims she was told only first names would be used. She later says she discovered Meredith used her full name however, exposing both her and her baby daughter.
“For a mom it’s really hard to see that,” said Sahoury on the verge of tears. “You don’t want your kids exposed to that world.”
Last week, a judge ruled that her lawsuit against Meredith will go forward. A spokesperson for the corporation released the following statement:
Meredith was appalled to learn someone misused a video meant to help new mothers. We took immediate action, hiring leading law firms and online specialists to file take-down demands, clear online caches and create positive references. We took these actions even though Ms. Sahoury signed a release authorizing use of the video across all media platforms, and holding Meredith harmless for any potential misuse of the video by a third party.
“I really had no reason to question it,” said Sahoury. “We went through everything before so I just filled it out and I signed it.”
Her attorney told NBC New York the trial is expected to begin before the end of the year. Despite her ordeal, Sahoury remains optimistic.
“I know that there has to be something that can become good out of this.”