An aspiring Houston model is seeking a court order against two men she says misled her into signing a document that gives them the right to post her nude photos on a site called -- get this -- Verticalsmiles.com.
In an application for a permanent injunction filed in Harris County District Court, 20-year-old Morgan Miller says that Edward Sharkey, 40, and Abriam (also spelled "Abreum") Garcia, 35, claimed to be part of a "top modeling company" known for "making girls famous," and had her sign a document she was told was simply for age verification. Unfortunately, the document authorized the dudes to slap her naked pics on their totally classy site. She wants the court to bar them from posting the photos.
According to Miller's filing, an acquaintance of Sharkey's met Miller -- a college student and waitress -- while she was participating in a pageant in January 2013, and referred her to Garcia and the Sharkmeister.
"Upon meeting, the two Defendants told Plaintiff that she was a potential candidate for modeling with their company, Vertical Smiles -- for a possible appearance in a calendar -- but first they would need to perform some 'test shoots' of Plaintiff. Plaintiff, desiring to advance her modeling career and seeking to start a portfolio, agreed." (Miller wore "swimsuits and lingerie" for the shoots.)
At one point, Miller claims, Garcia asked her to sign "an electronic form on an iPad" to verify her age. Garcia allegedly "held it up and scrolled through the multiple pages and instructed Plaintiff to sign such with her finger, and she did."as
In March 2013, Garcia allegedly told Miller "that if she wanted to be a real model -- then she would have to pose nude." Garcia allegedly showed Miller photos of other nude models with his company's logo, "VS," "placed over the breast and crotch area -- making these areas not visible. based on this representation and photograph, Plaintiff agreed to have photographs and video taken of her unclothed."
But later in 2013, according to the filing, Miller "learned that the Defendants were planning on using nude photos and images of her on this website." When Miller told them she never agreed to that, Garcia and the Sharkster allegedly "told her that they had a document that she had signed that would allow them to do so. Plaintiff objected to such use and a demanded a copy of the alleged document. Despite this request and numerous requests from counsel, such document(s) were never produced."
Mike Tilton, the defendants' lawyer, wouldn't provide this document to the Houston Press, either. So I guess we just have to take their word for it.
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Tilton told us via email, "It is my clients' contention that Ms. Miller knowingly and willingly entered into a valid release for her modeling services, for which she was compensated."
Apparently, the best way to bolster that argument is to hide the "valid release."
Just to clarify, Miller is only seeking an injunction for nude photos, not for any swimsuit/lingerie pics.
A hearing on the request for permanent injunction is scheduled for February 10, which also appears to be the Sharkinator's birthday. Happy birthday, bro!