NEW YORK – Pornographer Larry Flynt says he bought nude photos of Pfc. Jessica Lynch to publish in Hustler magazine, but changed his mind because she’s a “good kid” who became “a pawn for the government.”
Flynt told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he bought the photos last month from the men who purportedly participated in the amateur shoot with the Army supply clerk. The soldiers “wanted to let it be known that she’s not all apple pie,” Flynt said.
“My first intention was to publish them, but I don’t think it was the best, positive move I could make,” Flynt said in a telephone interview. “She’s very much a pawn for the government. They force-fed us a Joan of Arc.”
In an interview with the AP on Tuesday, Lynch declined to comment on any aspect of the matter, including whether such photos exist.
Her attorney, Stephen Goodwin, said in a statement: “It’s incredulous that anyone would think it appropriate in any way to attempt to publish unauthorized photos of Jessica — photos taken before she was deployed to Iraq and before her capture and rescue.”
The interview with Lynch was scheduled to publicize her biography, I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, which was released Tuesday. It covers the days between March 23, when her 507th Maintenance Company convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah, and April 1, when she was evacuated from a hospital by U.S. commandos.
After her rescue, the young soldier from Palestine, W.Va., was celebrated as a hero prisoner of war.
Goodwin also said Lynch had never claimed to be a hero, saving that description for her rescuers.
“She is and will remain — not a Joan of Arc, not a hero — but a young woman honestly and openly dealing with the high price she has paid for proud service to her country,” he said.
Flynt said the photographs appeared to be taken in an Army barracks, and showed Lynch topless and fully nude, frolicking with the soldiers.
He would not say what he paid for the photographs, which he said he’d lock in a vault.
“Some things are more important than money,” he said. “You gotta do the right thing.”
Flynt has been paralyzed from the waist down since an assassination attempt in 1978. His magazine won a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1988 that held that even pornographic spoofs enjoy First Amendment protection.