Photo Controversy Hasn't Affected Miley Cyrus
The pop star goes about her business, while experts say Perez Hilton is likely to avoid child pornography charges
As Miley Cyrus gears up to co-host the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards on Sunday and continues to promote her new album, Can’t Be Tamed, she’s showing no signs of being hurt by a photo “scandal” earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, a smiling Cyrus was spotted with boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, 20, at LAX, and she told Ryan Seacrest on Tuesday that she’s just focusing on “the positive and I hope this record does well.”
Meanwhile, it seems blogger Perez Hilton, who came under fire for Tweeting an apparently explicit photo of the 17-year-old star, has a reason to smile as well.
Though Hilton (real name: Mario Lavandeira Jr.), 32, faced enormous public outrage for posting a revealing paparazzi shot of the young star climbing out of a car, Beverly Hills criminal defense attorney Howard Price tells PEOPLE the blogger will probably not face legal consequences.
“It seems unlikely Perez would be prosecuted for any criminal act in this case,” Price says. “For this to constitute as child pornography it has to be a photo of actual sexual conduct or a more blatant exhibition of one’s private parts for the purpose of sexually stimulating the viewer.”
“Plus,” Price adds, “prosecutors aren’t going to waste their time trying to go after an isolated event like this. They are more concerned about more serious and widespread cases.”
But Hilton isn’t off the hook completely: “If Perez doctored the photograph however, that could be grounds for a civil defamation suit,” according to Price.
Hilton’s lawyer, Todd Rubenstein, tells PEOPLE that the blogger “did not create, post, Photoshop or alter the photos. From his Twitter account, he merely linked to and commented on someone else’s photos, which is his First Amendment right and is lawfully done by thousands of bloggers all day long … Furthermore, the photos are not pornographic by any legal, factual or common sense definition.”
One repercussion of Hilton’s actions: ABC reportedly pulled ads for The View from his Web site.
So what happens next?
Cyrus and Hilton are headed for a possible run-in on Sunday: The blogger is a presenter at the Toronto-based awards show.
• Reporting by KEN LEE