Jessica Simpson, OK! Being Sued for Using Photo of Random Mall Baby

A couple from the New Orleans metro area who brought their infant son along on a weekend shopping mall pilgrimage have filed a lawsuit against Jessica Simpson, OK! magazine, and a local photography business, claiming that a photo taken of their son was published in OK! as if to suggest that he was actually Simpson's baby. The photo was published in the April 16, 2012 issue of OK!, a publication that boasts a circulation of 4.5 million and sees 7.3 million clickety-clicks on its website every month.

That wide audience, according to an attorney representing the infant's father, Christopher Hurst of Jefferson Parish, and mother, Tracy Gregory of Lafourche Parish, is what prompted the couple to sue for invasion of privacy and emotional distress (damages, according to the Times-Picayune, appear to be no more than $75,000). Although attorneys representing Simpson, OK! owner American Media Inc.and Getty Images, whose subsidiary sold the photograph have yet to respond to the lawsuit, the couple's attorney Michael North has pointed out that the business of celebrity baby photographs is pretty huge: he alleges that a competing celebrity rag paid Simpson $800,000 for first dibs on actual baby pictures, and that OK! has paid "multiple millions of dollars" to celebrities for first rights to publish photos of their spawn.

So how did Jessica Simpson turn into the Easter Bunny of stolen children at Metairie's Lakeside Shopping Center? Hurst claims several people standing in line to meet Simpson next to him and his teenage daughter encourage him to hand his infant son over to Simpson for a picture. Reluctantly, he did so, and, before he knew what was happening, a stealth photographer leaped out of the fake plants to take a picture. The whole celebrity-news world is, apparently, baby crazy. [Times-Pic]

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Image via AP, Chris Pizzello