French actress Eva Ionesco is suing her mother Irina Ionesco for taking pictures of her when she was 11-year-old – and passing them to Playboy.
Eva Ionesco was the youngest ever model in Playboy magazine.
Now her photographer mother Irina Ionesco has been ordered to pay 10,000 euros in damages to Eva for taking the pictures of her in the 1970s, when she was between 4 and 12.
The court in Paris also ordered Irina Ionesco to hand over negatives of the pictures to her daughter Eva Ionesco, who said she had suffered a “stolen childhood” because of the photographs.
However, th court rejected Eva Ionesco’s demand for 200,000 euros ($263,000) in damages and for her mother to be barred from profiting from the photographs.
Irina Ionesco was well-known in the 1970s for her photographs, especially the controversial ones of her daughter, which appeared in a number of publications including European editions of magazines Playboy and Penthouse.
The photographs of Eva Ionesco, now 47, were taken in the 1970s between the ages of 4 and 12 by her photographer mother Irina Ionesco.
Eva Ionesco became the youngest model to appear nude in Playboy when she featured aged 11 in an October 1976 edition.
Her photographs as a child were also published in Penthouse. Her lawyer Jacques-Georges Bitoun told the court that the 1970s “were an era when paedophile networks still had a lot of influence”.
“How can one open the legs of a four year old girl and take a snap?” he said.
“If art is photographing a child in these positions, I understand nothing of art,” he said.
Then he added: “The child is never presented as a child but as a disguised prostitute.”
Irina Ionesco’s lawyer Rene-Jean Ullmann argued that the 1970s were a “more permissive” time and spoke of the actress’s alleged “hatred for her mother”.
Eva Ionesco publicized the bizarre details of her relationship with her mother in her 2011 film My Little Princess, starring Isabelle Huppert.
She made her movie debut at the age of 11 in 1976, playing a child in Roman Polanski’s movie The Tenant. In 1977 her mother lost custody of her children and Eva Ionesco was brought up by the parents of footwear designer Christian Louboutin.