A Scandinavian classical musician, somewhat well-known (more so in Europe than the U.S.), who very, very, very recently got married, suffered a startling shock on his wedding day: someone posted on a pornographic website numerous photographs of him doing things with numerous males that normal heterosexual men do not do.
I was alerted to this by a recent comment on an earlier post, a comment I deleted because it provided a direct link to a pornographic website.
The commenter knew all the details of the musician’s wedding—a wedding still not made public, although Andrew was able to ascertain via a couple of phone calls that the information provided by the commenter with reference to the wedding was indeed accurate—and the commenter seemed to thrive on what happened to the musician on his wedding day.
My instinct tells me that whoever commented on my weblog was the very person responsible for taking the photographs of the musician, perhaps surreptitiously, and submitting them to the pornographic website.
My instinct also tells me that whoever gave or sold the photographs to the pornographic website was a current or former paid escort of the musician and is among the men (there are many men in the photographs, often in groupings, all “interacting” with the musician) who appear in the photographs.
Further, my instinct tells me that whoever commented on my weblog also notified the about-to-be-married musician of the existence and release of the photographs, deliberately unleashed and published on the musician’s wedding day.
Unless blackmail—a criminal act—is involved, the musician is without recourse. The pornographic website is in Russia, and not subject to European Union privacy laws and not subject to private, involuntary legal action within the European Union.
The musician, theoretically, could go to Russia and sue, but it would surely be too embarrassing for him to do so—and would certainly constitute a career-killing move, even if he could obtain some sort of recovery, a very unlikely prospect.
Update on 25 August 2012 at 1:34 p.m. CDT:
I probably should add that there are additional considerations that, as a practical matter, preclude the unidentified musician from seeking lawful recourse.
On at least two occasions (and perhaps a third, and even fourth), the musician was escorted out of Russia because of possession of an unlawful substance. Had the musician not had a very powerful Russian musician as his protector, he probably would have been prosecuted in Russia’s criminal courts.
Further, a celebrated incident involving the unidentified musician occurred at Saint Petersburg’s Ambassador Hotel. The musician had invited several male guests to the hotel to perform services for him, at the conclusion of which there was an unpleasant payment dispute, with the result that law-enforcement authorities were called in to address the situation.
Whoever gave or sold the photographs to the Russian pornographic website no doubt was aware of such past incidents—and knew that the incidents would be an effective bar to the pursuit of legal remedies on the part of the musician.
The unidentified musician holds a minor official post with a leading Russian musical organization. His June 2012 scheduled appearances with that organization were mysteriously cancelled at the last minute by the Russians themselves—and he has been assigned no performances for the 2012-2013 season, despite his official affiliation with the organization. It will be the first time in years the musician will not appear with the Russian body.