Judge penalizes Hustler over dead woman's photos

June 17, 2011 - 2:28 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge has penalized Hustler Magazine $375,000 for publishing the decades-old nude photographs of the wife of wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed the woman and his young son before committing suicide in 2007.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash signed off on the award Friday in a case brought by the family of Nancy Benoit.

Thrash's order overturned a nearly $20 million verdict awarded by a jury to Benoit's family. He said the jury award cannot exceed Georgia's cap on punitive damages.

The photos were published after the Benoits died. Nancy Benoit's family sued Hustler's publisher, claiming that the woman had asked the photographer to destroy the images immediately after they were shot.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com