What Is the Controversy Surrounding the Naked Photos of Brooke Shields in a Tub?

The photo shoot of Brooke Shields nude in a bathtub was controversial because she was a minor child at the time the photos were taken. Shields was 10 years old when she posed for the pictures.

In 1975, photographer Gary Gross took the controversial photos of Brooke Shields which featured her wearing heavy makeup and body oil while bathing without any clothing on. Though she was a model with the Ford agency, Shields was not yet well known in the entertainment industry. The photos gained little attention until 1978 when director Louis Malle cast Shields in his film "Pretty Baby." The movie was set in the final days of legal prostitution in New Orleans and featured Shields as a child prostitute. It was at this time that the photos gained international attention.

Brooke Shields has taken legal action multiple times, attempting to sue Gross and prohibit further use of the photos. The courts have ruled against her each time, mostly due to the fact that Shields' mother signed a contract giving Gross the rights to distribute the photographs. Though many people find them to be offensive and inappropriate, the photographs are not legally considered to be pornographic as long as they are not used in any pornographic publications.