A photo spread featured in a now-defunct gay interest magazine five years ago has caught up to one of the stars of MTV’s new series “Teen Wolf.”
Colton Haynes, who plays Jackson in the series set to premiere next month, has sought the help of California attorney Bryan J. Freedman of Freedman & Taitelman LLP to remove several pictures from various websites in recent weeks that depict Haynes shirtless and kissing another boy.
In a letter to at least one site, Freedman described the photos as “private, obscene, lewd and pornographic,” and demanded the photos be removed immediately or the website could face litigation from Haynes. The pictures have actually been making their round through the Internet for the last year, at least since Haynes was cast in the short-lived horror-inspired series “The Gates,” which aired last summer on ABC.
However, postings of those pictures had been inexplicably disappearing in recent months, but not at several news outlets, including the gay-themed science-fiction site DoorQ.
Jody Wheeler, the owner of DoorQ, said he received a cease and desist from Freedman this week demanding the removal of the pictures. In this letter, Freedman said one of the pictures showed Haynes “partially or possibly fully nude in a jacuzzi engaging in sexual content with another individual.” Freedman described this particular photo as “sordid, grossly perverted and can only appeal to those with the most prurient of interests.”
“That you would publicize such content is disturbing,” Freedman continued. “Your election to continue doing so is criminal.”
The photos, however, could likely not be described as “private,” especially since they all appeared in the March 2006 issue of XY magazine. Two photos in that spread showed Haynes and another male in a jacuzzi, both shirtless and both kissing each other.
However, Freedman continues those claims in his letter, which was dated May 31.
“The public disclosure of, and wrongful intrusion into one’s private activities, constitutes an invasion of privacy and is actionable in most jurisdictions, including California,” Freedman said. DoorQ is based in California. “Your public disclosure of these private photographs violate Hayne’s privacy rights as such conduct qualifies as a public disclosure of a private fact which would be offensive and objectionable to the reasonable person.”
The attorney does point out that Haynes was a minor at the time the photos were taken (the actor is 22 now), and has made an added claim to what he called the “pornographic” nature of the photo.
Yet, Haynes is no stranger to risque modeling. He was an Abercrombie & Fitch model — whose catalogs are known for its excessive skin exposure from its models — and also did work for Ralph Lauren and Kira Plastitina.
Wheeler has responded with a post of his own at DoorQ saying the pictures aren’t private, and are hardly pornographic.
“These pictures, while showing Mr. Haynes goofing off [with], even kissing, another guy, there’s nothing more risque to them than your average Abercrombie & Fitch advert [or] TV shows on MTV,” Wheeler said.
When reached by telephone Wednesday evening, Freedman described the letter as a “litigation matter,” but said he would provide a response at a later time. He has yet to issue that response.
A request for comment from Haynes’ publicist is also pending return.
“Teen Wolf” premieres June 5 on MTV.