Hustler Magazine has defended its decision to publish nude photos of a model months after she was killed by her wrestler husband as her family pursues $20million in damages.
The Larry Flynt Publishing Group argued on Wednesday in a federal appeals court that it was protected by the First Amendment because Nancy Toffoloni Benoit was a newsworthy figure.
Her family waged a legal battle against the pornographic magazine since it published the photos after she and her seven-year-old son Daniel were killed in 2007 by wrestler Chris Benoit.
Benoit then a wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment, strangled his wife and son before hanging himself.
Motives for the double murder suicide include possible brain damage suffered by Benoit after repeated concussions as a wrestler.
Her family said she never gave the magazine permission to print the photos.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in June 2009 that a notorious death does not give publishers a blank cheque to publish any images they wish..