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Brooke Shields' Mom and Child Pornography

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Back in 1975, Teri Shields allowed her young daughter, Brooke, to be photographed nude. Years later, that photo session is causing controversy.

Brooke Shields Tate Gallery

After years of watching Brooke Shields star in the sitcom "Suddenly Susan," it's difficult to remember the controversy she stirred back in 1978 when she appeared, at age 12, as a child prostitute in "Pretty Baby." All with the blessing of her manager/mother, Teri Shields.

Memories have just been jogged.

The Tate Modern Museum in London has taken down an image of Shields, now 44 and a mother of two, called "Spiritual America" by American artist Richard Prince, because Scotland Yard warns the image could be breaking obscenity laws. The artwork, using a found publicity photograph taken in 1975, depicts Shields, only 10 years old, standing nude with heavy makeup in a bathtub. She stares directly into the camera with a look that belies her young years. Amazingly, the provocative painting has already hung without incident in New York's Guggenheim Museum.

The photo was originally taken by Gary Gross, a U.S. photographer. Later the photo appeared in a Playboy publication, "Sugar 'n' Spice."

It wasn't until years later that Teri Shields, 75, and who now suffers from dementia, attempted, unsuccessfully, to buy back the negatives from the photographer. 

What do you think: Is the painting an example of free expression or child pornography? And what mom would let their 10-year-old be photographed nude in the first place?!

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21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Fister May 25, 2011, 5:47 PM

The entire shoot by Mr. Gross tells a much clearer story. It is the story of a young naked girl who doesn’t mind putting one foot up on the tub so the whole world can see her vulva. Three cheers for young naked girls!!!

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