In July 1978, at the age of thirteen, Brooke Shields made front page news in Photo Magazine.
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At the time, Gross was working on a project for publication entitled , in which he wanted to reveal the femininity of prepubescent girls by comparing them to adult women.
Brooke Shields posed for him both as a normal young girl and in the nude, her body heavily made up and oiled, receiving a fee of $450 from Playboy Press, Gross’s partner in the project.
Her mother signed a contract giving Gross full rights to exploit the images of her daughter.
The series was first published in Little Women, and then in Sugar and Spice, a Playboy Press publication.
Large prints were also exhibited by Charles Jourdan on 5th Avenue in New York.
In 1981, however, Brooke Shields wanted to prevent further use of these pictures and tried unsuccessfully to buy back the negatives.A legal battle then began between Shields and Gross with Gross being sued for a million dollars.Brooke Shields claimed that her mother had agreed to give up her rights for one publication only and that the photographs caused her embarrassment.In addition, they had been published, and would probably be published again, in revues of dubious morality.Her lawyers immediately obtained a provisional measure forbidding the use of the pictures until the end of the trial.The case was won by Gross with the court considering the contract signed by Brooke Shields’ mother to be valid and binding on her daughter.