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Empire State Building launches $1M lawsuit against photographer for topless photo shoot

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NEW YORK (AP/PIX11) — A fashion photographer is facing a lawsuit for taking pictures of a topless model on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

The owners of the New York City landmark filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against Allen Henson for a set of photos he took in August.

“I was a little bit surprised,” Henson said of learning he was being sued.

Henson said the photo shoot was “completely experimental.” “It’s more of a social satire, a social experiment,” he told PIX11 News.

SEE THE NSFW PHOTOS

According court papers filed Monday, Henson didn’t apply for permission and never notified the building about his plans for the photo shoot. Building representatives called it objectionable and inappropriate because the observation deck is a family and tourist attraction.

Henson says the view from atop the building is so breathtaking he didn’t think anyone noticed.

He also says that he hasn’t used the images commercially as the suit claims. Henson says the photos were taken with a cellphone then uploaded to social media.