August 07, 1995 12:00 PM


In 1982, long before she twice appeared nude on the cover of Vanity Fair, Demi Moore, then an aspiring model, made her unclothed debut in the pages of the men’s magazine Oui. Now the Oui picture is among the most popular of an extensive and growing collection of photographs of naked celebrities on the Internet. Though the star of the forthcoming film Striptease hasn’t been shy about using her sexuality to promote her career, Moore, 32, was unaware that the picture had resurfaced on the Net until PEOPLE asked her spokeswoman for a comment. “It’s absolutely appalling,” says Moore’s publicist, refusing to say anything further. And Moore isn’t the only star in a huff. Nude photos of hundreds of celebrities—including topless shots of Sharon Stone, Cindy Crawford and Vanessa Williams—are readily available for downloading online, posted on the Net by eagle-eyed fans who have located the pictures in old skin magazines or uncovered early topless modeling shots. Though in some cases the photos are blatant frauds, with the star’s head pasted on a model’s body, many are authentic.

Candid shots of Brad Pitt in the buff, recently published by the tabloids with his genitalia blacked out, quickly appeared uncensored online. Pitt, 31, also did not know that nude pictures of him had reached the Net until his rep was contacted by PEOPLE. It is not clear whether the stars have any legal recourse against this new threat to their privacy. “The law is so far behind the technology, nobody really knows what the law is on this,” says Pamela Koslyn, an L.A. entertainment lawyer. Pitt, who was caught naked by a paparazzo in St. Bart’s last May, may be in a stronger legal position because he never gave his consent for the pictures. “It is a crime that children have access to these photos,” says Pitt’s publicist, Cindy Guagenti. As for the Net users posting Pitt’s picture, she adds ominously, “He is definitely taking legal action.”


Just before embarking on the Lollapalooza ’95 tour, which began July 4, Sinéad O’Connor took to the Net for a raucous online news conference in which the audience grilled her about her vocal attacks on the Catholic Church. O’Connor shot back with a vehement defense of her decision to rip up a photograph of Pope John Paul II after singing Bob Marley’s “War” during a 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live. “It was not meant as a PERSONAL attack on the MAN, but rather [on] the OFFICE,” she said, using capitals—the online equivalent of shouting—for emphasis. O’Connor, 28, who claims she was beaten as a child by her mother, partly blames Roman Catholic teachings for the abuse. But she did express a bit of sympathy for the pontiff near the end of the session, when she was asked facetiously if he would attend Lollapalooza this year. “The poor man,” O’Connor said. “I bet he WISHES he could go!”

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