05 November 2007

exhibit b: maria sharapova's crotch

the smoking gun excerpt:

NOVEMBER 1--A top advertising executive who allegedly enjoyed photographing the crotches of unsuspecting females, snapped a close-up shot of Maria Sharapova's nether region as the tennis star posed for a Canon camera ad, according to a new lawsuit.

In the complaint, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New York, Steve Biegel charges that he was fired by Dentsu Holdings, the giant Japanese advertising agency, after complaining about the photographic hobby of Toyo Shigeta, the firm's CEO, who allegedly distributed the Sharapova photo to subordinates.

Included as an exhibit to Biegel's lawsuit, which alleges a variety of other lewd behavior on the part of Shigeta and other Dentsu executives, is the purported photo of Sharapova, which can be seen at the link.

The image, Biegel contends, was surreptitiously snapped by Shigeta in April 2005 during a break in the filming of a Canon commerical at a tennis center in Key Biscayne, Florida. According to Biegel, a Dentsu creative director who oversaw the Canon ad campaign, Shigeta used a telephoto lens to take the "crotch shot." In fact, Biegel alleges, Shigeta "proudly" gave him an electronic copy of the Sharapova photo (which is now Exhibit B in the federal discrimination lawsuit).

Biegel contends that while Sharapova was unaware that she was being photographed by Shigeta, he and the athelete's makeup woman realized what was going on. Through a Dentsu spokesperson, Shigeta denied taking the Sharapova photo. The ad firm branded Biegel's allegations "outrageous" and said it would file a counterclaim for libel and fraud. (7 pages)