MaryAnn Sahoury wanted to share the beautiful experience of breastfeeding with struggling moms.
Instead she ended up being the main attraction on a porn site.
In January 2010, Sahoury, a young mother from Fair Lawn, N.J., participated in an intructional video called “Breastfeeding Help,” which was produced by Meredith Video Studios, a subsidiery of the media giant Meredith Corp., which publishes Ladies’ Home Journal, among other titles.
She’d been asked to appear in the video by a lactation consultant.
In court filings, Sahoury said she was happy to participate since she’d had such a wonderful experience breastfeeding her baby daughter.
“Breastfeeding for me was the most rewarding thing I had ever done in my life,” Sahoury told NBC New York. “I wanted to share that with people. I wanted to really give back.”
Sahoury, who did not receive payment for her particpation, said she was given assurances that neither her name, nor her 1-month old daughter’s name would be used.
Sahoury signed off the video release without reading it - she said she assumed that there would be no surprises.
“I really had no reason to question it,” Sahoury said. “We went through everything before so I just filled it out and I signed it.”
She was wrong.
In signing the release, she gave Meredith the authority to share the video “across all platforms.”
Months later, curious as to whether the video had aired, she typed in her name into a Google search.
She was horrified to see that her video had been shared on YouTube and then snatched up by a third party that manipulated it by combining it with pornographic footage, according to New Jersey Law Journal.
“I was sick to my stomach,” Sahoury said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just felt so paralyzed.”
Worst of all, her full name and her baby’s name were featured in the hacked video.
Sahoury claims she pleaded with Meredith to have YouTube remove the X-rated re-cut of her educational video, but the company delayed until late August 2010, after it had been viewed 15,000 times.
But within 24 hours of its removal, a new version had been uploaded, drawing more than 2,500 views in the first week, according to the complaint.
This week, Sahoury was given the green light by a federal judge to sue the producer of the educational video for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, breach of contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress and equitable fraud.
The trial is expected to begin before the end of the year.
“I know that there has to be something that can become good out of this,” Sahoury siad.