CBS Settles Lawsuit Over John Edwards Mistress Photo

A paparazzo sued the network for not getting a license to use the images he snapped.
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

CBS has escaped a lawsuit over airing an allegedly unlicensed photograph of Reille Hunter, the mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards, and her child. On Friday, the network informed a federal judge that the parties had agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice, which typically means a settlement has been reached.

Alan Zanger, a paparazzo noted for his stakeout abilities, filed the copyright infringement claim in New York federal court last October.

According to the complaint, Zanger said he had reached an exclusive deal with the New York Post for his photograph before reaching out to other media outlets to sell rights. He said that Inside Edition and Us Weekly paid for a license, but CBS hadn't.

The network's entertainment gossip show, The Insider, allegedly expressed some interest, at which point Zanger says he sent his photos for evaluation purposes. Later, without a license, the show allegedly went ahead and aired the photographs. Similarly, CBS' The Early Show is also said to have shown the photograph of Hunter.

"These photographs and the event generated great publicity and is of great interest to the public at large," read Zanger's complaint. "Plaintiff has zealously and deliberately licensed his Reille Hunter with Baby Collection to various news outlets so that Plaintiff and his licensees can maximize the public distribution of plaintiff's Reille Hunter with Baby Collection..."

The lawsuit didn't get very far. CBS never officially answered Zanger's claims in court. The parties agreed on several extensions before the dispute was finally put to bed. The parties now appear to have worked out an agreement to end the dispute although the papers don't reveal details of any settlement.


Twitter: @eriqgardner