Nude Bodypainting Model Sues NYPD Over Arrest

Cops accused of censoring bodypainting artist Andy Golub during Times Square event.

Andy Golub painting a nude model in Times Square.
Photo: Arthur/Flickr.

A nude model who was arrested during Andy Golub‘s Times Square bodypainting event in July 0f 2011 is suing New York City and the NYPD for illegal censorship, reports the New York Post.

Texan model Karla Storie, age 30, and Golub were accused of public lewdness and exposure offense, although Storie claims she only removed her underwear for a few seconds before the paint was applied. The charges were dropped in April of 2012, but now she is asking for unspecified damages, accusing the police of censoring Golub. One of the other models in the event received a $15,000 settlement from the city two years ago.

Storie’s suit contends that New York law “does not criminalize public nudity when engaged in it for purposes of an exhibition of art.” Her lawyer, Stuart Jacobs, told the Post that “it’s pretty clear the cops were wrong.”

Following Golub and Storie’s arrest in 2011, the artist and the city came to an arrangement that would see the charges dropped and allow the naked body painting events to take place without trouble from the police, provided that fully nude models are used only at night, and models during daytime events wear underwear below the waist.

At the time of the decision, in 2011, Golub and Storie’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, told DNAinfo that the artist would “agree to disagree” regarding the day/night nudity distinction, but added that “I’m continuing to challenge the city’s lawlessness.”

For Golub’s latest body-painting exhibition, held in Columbus Circle last Saturday, the artist enlisted 40 nude models from the Young Naturists and Nudists of America and 30 artists from across the country to participate in what was his biggest event to-date. After marching down Broadway to Times Square, the painted models took a double-decker bus tour of lower Manhattan, all without incident.

Based on the successful nature of this year’s event, Kuby feels that the NYPD has adopted a more progressive attitude toward artistic nudity. “I believe the police have been re-trained as to the proper handling of a naked woman,” he told the Post.

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