U.S. mom sues after educational breastfeeding video gets co-opted into pornography

·Contributing Writer

MaryAnn Sahoury thought she was providing a helpful service for new moms.

In 2010, the New Jersey woman agreed to be filmed, along with her month-old daughter, for an instructional video for Parents TV offering techniques for women having trouble with breastfeeding.

Sahoury had also experienced difficulty in the initial stages of nursing, so she says she did it to benefit other women like her.

"I didn't get paid to do this. I didn't want to be some sort of celebrity," she tells the Associated Press. "I did this to help other moms."

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The new mom says she was promised by Iowa-based Meredith Corporation — the media and marketing company that shot and produced the film — that her full name would not be used and that it would only appear on the company's Parents TV channel and website.

But a quick Google search of her name six months later revealed that the company's failed promise was now the least of her concerns.

Not only did Sahoury's full name appear on the tape — her breastfeeding video had been co-opted by a third party and uploaded to a slew of pornography sites.

On one of the links she followed, the 35-year-old discovered that clips from her video had been edited together with footage of another woman who looked just like her, performing graphic sexual acts.

Even worse, her baby daughter's name now yielded links to the porn sites as well.

"I was sick to my stomach," she tells NBC. "I didn't know what I was going to do. I just felt so paralyzed. For a mom, it's really hard to see that. You don't want your kids exposed to that world."

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So how did this happen?

In a lawsuit she filed against Meredith Corp., Sahoury claims the company uploaded the video to YouTube, a move that allowed anyone to grab the footage and manipulate it for their less-than-wholesome purposes.

She also alludes to the fact that the company used her full name and her daughter's name after they expressly promised her they wouldn't.

In the company's defense, Meredith Corp. claims in a written statement that they immediately sprang to action, hiring lawyers and online specialists to try and remove the footage.

This, they state, despite the fact that they bore "no responsibility" for what happened.

"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."

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Sahoury admits she did not read the release form in its entirety before signing, as she just assumed it contained the conditions she and the videographer had agreed upon prior to the shoot.

"I really had no reason to question it," Sahoury tells the New York Daily News. "We went through everything before so I just filled it out and I signed it."

Last week, a New Jersey federal court judge approved Sahoury's lawsuit against the media company on charges of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, negligent infliction of emotional distress and equitable fraud.

The lawsuit is expected to begin later this year.

But while the legal matter will reach an inevitable conclusion, Sahoury's unwitting foray into the world of pornography will remain online forever.

It's a horrible reminder that even the best of intentions can be grossly abused on the Wild, Wild Web.

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