Storage Wars’ Brandi Passante was once a victim of identity theft

According to The Hollywood Reporter, in October 2012, Passante filed a lawsuit against Hunter Moore, owner of the website, for posting an adult film that he claimed included Brandi Passante. While the video was fake and used an actress with similar facial features, some believed it was real and posted messages on her Twitter account like “can’t wait to see more of the video” and “love the pics”. According to the lawsuit, “The video distributed by Moore not only contains images that denigrate bystanders, but also contains a virus that poses a threat to viewers attempting to view it. Passante has suffered emotional, physical, and psychological harm, including damage to her personal and professional reputation.”

After the lawsuit first became public, AVN argued that it was questionable whether Moore had any intention of leading people to believe the video was of Passante. Citing precedent from Jerry Fallwell’s case against Larry Flynt, Adult Video News argued that the video could be seen as a parody and pointed to at least one website where the video was posted that was skeptical of the video. The Milord Law Group, on the other hand, saw the case both ways, noting that Passante’s case depended on a copyright infringement lawsuit, for which there were a few reasons, but also that Moore may be protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

According to the Hollywood Reporter article referenced above, Passante won her lawsuit, but a judge reduced her reward from the $2.5 million Passante was seeking to just $750 plus court costs. Though the payout wasn’t as big as she’d hoped, Moore was also banned from further distributing the video, so at least so much of it was a happy ending for passers-by. Storage Wars’ Brandi Passante was once a victim of identity theft

Charles Jones

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