NEW YORK — A photographer known for staging photoshoots of topless women in public places showed up outside Manhattan Supreme Court with five shirtless women on Thursday to fight for the right to stage topless photoshoots at the Empire State Building.
Allen Henson, a 30-year-old Iraq war veteran, is facing a $1 million lawsuit for staging a topless photoshoot at the Empire State Building in August 2013. The lawsuit was filed against Henson by the Empire State Building's owners, who believe he's tarnishing the building's image as a wholesome tourist attraction.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Wright ruled that though Henson had bought an admission ticket, he was guilty of trespassing for failing to obtain permission for a shoot for commercial purposes.
Henson is planning a second photoshoot at the observation deck, but a permanent ban is also included in the lawsuit.
On Thursday, Henson's band of beauties attracted mostly male passersby, who took pictures of them and their exposed breasts as they stood on the steps of the iconic building on 60 Center Street.
Henson was not arrested, though he was asked to delete photos he took and one of his models was admonished for attempting to strip inside the courthouse. The photographer is countersuing the Empire State Building and says he's confident that he will win.