Jake Gyllenhaal Claims Defamation By Photoshop Over Underwear Photo

Actor's lawyer demands websites take down "fake" image.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal's lawyers are scouring the Internet, attempting to eradicate a picture of the actor that shows him stretching in his tighty-whitey underwear.

The letter was sent to a few websites, including Queerty.com and Buzzfeed.com. Gyllenhaal's lawyers at LA's Bloom Hergott firm claim that "as anybody could tell from a cursory examination, this is a fake picture, in which our client's head has been pasted on the body of another person."

Gyllenhaal's pose in the photo is said to resemble an album cover pose of singer Grace Jones. The photo might be a nuissance to Gyllenhaal, but the legal campaign seems to have backfired. "We’re keeping the photo up, since it hasn’t been proven fake and because their letter bumped it from 'funny and cute' to 'actually newsworthy,'" reports Queerty.com.

Indeed. Gyllenhaal's lawyers allege the photo violates the actor's legal rights by "portraying him in a false light, violating his right of publicity and constituting a false designation of origin in violation of the Lanham Act."

At least one photo expert believes the image is a fake, so perhaps Gyllenhaal isn't stretching. No, maybe just his lawyers. 

First, does the picture really damage Gyllenhaal's reputation? Jake isn't the first actor to allege defamation by photoshop -- see Demi Moore vs. W Magazine -- but this is a pretty unique situation. Maybe Gyllenhaal believes he won't earn big bucks as a leading man if people think he prances around in his underwear (and allow himself to be filmed as such).

As for the publicity and Lanham Act claims, Gyllenhaal might have to trot out experts testifying to the value of a market in Gyllenhaal underwear photos being damaged by the appearance of this image. Who knows? Maybe Gyllenhaal really could be the paid spokesperson for Fruit of the Loom. We'd love to see the briefs. The legal ones, that is.

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner