Nashville Teen Has Image Altered, Goes Viral - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Teen Has Image Altered, Goes Viral

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by Chris Conte

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Parents of a Nashville teenager have filed an $18 million lawsuit on behalf of their son after his photo was dramatically altered and distributed across the Internet without his consent or knowledge.

In a lawsuit filed April 22, Pamela and Bernard Holland said that the use of their son's photo on WHPT's "The Cowhead Show" website was malicious and defamatory.

The station is owned by Cox Media Group. Spokesman Andy McDill wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Monday that the company is looking into the matter.

"It's our company policy, however, not to comment on ongoing litigation," McDill wrote.

Adam Holland's photo was not on the show's website on Monday.

The Hollands say that the altered image has caused them "severe mental anguish and emotional distress," and "humiliation, fear and embarrassment." They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Larry Crain, the Holland family's Nashville attorney, said Monday that this case highlights the need for strengthening laws involving altered and unauthorized photos.

"Adam is realizing for the first time that he saw the picture and came home kind of excited about his photo being in the city paper until his parents explained to him why it was being used and why this case was being brought," he told NewsChannel 5 on Wednesday.

Crain said that this case has "touched a nerve" with a lot of people and his office has received outraged calls from around the country.

The Hollands said in the lawsuit that the photo of their son was taken in 2004 when Adam Holland was 17 and in an art class. In the original photo, Adam is smiling at the camera and holding up a drawing.

In July of 2012, according to court documents, the Hollands were contacted by a friend who saw the photo on the radio station website. The photo had been altered to show the words "Retarded News" in place of his original drawing.


(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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