The Lingerie Football League hasn’t even played game one yet and they already have a scandal. Of course, a league full of beautiful women playing football in what used to be called “unmentionables” might to some be considered scandalous in and of itself. But for the nearly naked, fully nude becomes the scandal, and such is the case of Melissa Berry, a linebacker for the Tampa Breeze.
According to Tampa Bay Online, Melissa Berry sued Marc Dawson, a self-proclaimed “success, performance, and human behavior” expert and ex-boyfriend, for posting revealing and risqué nude photos of her on MySpace. She maintains that he did so without her knowledge and that he should know better, considering that he is an expert in human relationships. She also accuses Dawson of attempting to extort, humiliate, and hurt her by showing the nude pictures of her to her mother and other friends.
Berry admits in her lawsuit that she allowed Dawson to take some nude photos of her but never gave him permission to do anything with them. One picture taken of her “engaged in a particularly private, intimate sexual act.”
The two broke up shortly thereafter and Marc Dawson showed some of the nude photos to two of Berry’s friends, who informed her. She confronted Dawson and destroyed his phone.
Melissa Berry contends that Dawson then sent her mother an electronic message in November that he wanted $500 to replace his phone or he would go public with the nude photos. When Berry refused, Dawson (or someone working on his behalf, Berry says) posted the nude pictures on the internet and also sent them to her mother.
And then she says he approached her team, the Tampa Bay Breeze, to see if they would post the pictures on their website.
Berry is asking for $15,000 in unspecified damages.
Marc Dawson denies he ever posted any pictures of Berry. “This is nothing but an ex-girlfriend trying to cause problems. For her to say that these pictures were taken against her knowledge is untrue because she is smiling in them. She takes her clothes off for a living and tells people I am doing all this other stuff. What she’s doing now is creating a drama because there are pictures out there of her.”
Dawson says he did send the pictures to Berry’s MySpace page, but she agreed to post them. He also admitted to sending Berry’s mother an e-mail with a nude picture attached.
Melissa Berry’s lawyer maintains that the matter is a privacy issue. “The question is does she have an expectation of privacy in these photos and any woman or man would say absolutely these are not photos you are going to want the public or anyone else to see.”
Berry stated, “I am scared of what he will do to my career.”
Perhaps the 24-year-old model is afraid of becoming famous. It seems that everyone showing just a little bit of skin these days gets just that much more famous. And since when has getting naked hurt anyone’s career? Not for a good long while. Because it’s a tried and true formula: scandal and controversy equal increased fame.
Most scandals involving football, though, usually involve the cheerleaders. Although no pictures were taken, two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were recently arrested for having sex in a bathroom stall during a game. They were also subsequently fired. If there had been a video or nude pictures, you might have heard more from these women.
Some scandals aren’t even what one would really call scandals. They simply increase the fame of those involved. For instance, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Monty Beisel’s ex-wife Amanda Carraway posed for the November edition of Playboy. The internet went crazy putting the two back together, but Carraway had remarried since divorcing Beisel in 2006.
But not all scandals involve the women of football. Visanthe Shiancoe, tight end for the Minnesota Vikings, was unintentionally exposed during an after-game locker room chat on live television (Fox). The video of Shiancoe’s bared penis lit up the internet. Before the exposure, it is doubtful that many people outside of Minnesota had ever heard of Visanthe Shiancoe.
The attention given the matter by the public will almost certainly be good news for the Tampa Bay Breeze and the nascent Lingerie Football League as well. The League, which is an actually playing league, begins playing actual scheduled games in 2009.
The idea for the Lingerie Football League sprang from the idea of the alternative game, the Lingerie Bowl, shown during the Super Bowl the last five years. The sixth edition will be played this year on February 1. Melissa Berry’s team, Tampa Bay Breeze, will be one of the four teams competing.