Christopher Peterson, a celebrity photographer who regularly documents the VS models’ whereabouts, captured an accidental semi-nude shot of Victoria’s Secret Angel, Martha Hunt.
The photo followed her second fitting for the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, as she stepped into a car with Elsa Hosk. The wind blew up the edge of her green wrap dress, revealing her butt.
On Sunday, Peterson published a cropped version of the photo, so only Hunt’s lower back was visible. He has received backlash, as well as support, for his caption pointing out the hypocrisy of a lingerie model threatening legal action over semi-nude photographs.
“Martha Hunt had a Marilyn Monroe moment after her Victoria’s Secret fitting the other day, but her agency threatened to sue if I released the photos for, get this, ‘invasion of privacy’ and ‘damaging her reputation,'” Peterson wrote on Instagram.
“I find this laughable considering she’s a lingerie model and was standing on Broadway outside the Victoria’s Secret headquarters. Nobody has a right to privacy standing on a public street; it went all the way to the New York Supreme Court. A model whose body of work is based on posing in lingerie is not damaged by revealing exactly what’s in her published work. Google Martha Hunt and lingerie and let me know if you see her derriere. Corporate bullying is anti-Democratic. I’ll leave it that.”
Some backlash had come from commenters that pointed out that a woman has the right to choose when and where she wants to show her body.
The photographer wrote, “I disagree. A public figure does not have a right to decide what’s news in public space.”
Peterson deleted the Instagram post shortly after. The modeling agency that represents Hunt, IMG, has not threatened the photographer with legal action. However Hunt still reserves the right to take action for invasion of privacy and harm done to her reputation.
The photo agency Peterson works as a freelancer for, Splash News, has declined to publish and sell these particular photos and are not on the site. Other images Peterson took of Hunt leaving the Victoria’s Secret headquarters are currently available for purchase.
The photographer has responded to confrontation about the issue with a copy-and-paste Wikipedia summary of the Nussenzweig v. diCorcia decision by the New York Supreme Court. The case states “that a photographer could display, publish, and sell street photography without the consent of the subjects of those photographs.”