Pring v. Penthouse International
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
695 F.2d 438 (1983)
Cioffari (defendant), an English professor, wrote a story that was published in Penthouse magazine. The story was about a woman named Charlene who was the Miss Wyoming contestant at a Miss America pageant. The story describes Charlene’s thoughts as she is about to perform her talent, baton twirling. The story includes a scene wherein Charlene performs oral sex on a football player, causing him to levitate. There are other sexual components to the story, and levitation is presented as a device to save the world. An actual Miss Wyoming, Kimerli Pring, sued Penthouse International (defendant) and Cioffari for defamation. Pring argued that the story created the impression that she had committed sexual acts that she had not. The defendants argued that the story was a spoof of the Miss America contest that was not intended to be taken literally. A jury found in favor of Pring. Penthouse and Cioffari appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Seth, C. J.)
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