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News

Nude Pics of Marilyn Monroe Still Causing Trouble Today

Monroe-red-velvet-nude.jpg
1949 photo from Red Velvet Collection by Tom Kelley
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In May 1949, nobody knew who Marilyn Monroe was--including Marilyn herself. That was when the 22-year-old model and would-be starlet shed her clothes for a photography session here in Los Angeles that would bring her much attention, and for the photographer's family, legal woes over four decades after her death, according to the Pasadena Star-News.A Pasadena-based lawyer is representing the heirs of Tom Kelley, the man who shot what since became known as the "Red Velvet Collection," because it featured young Marilyn in the buff posing on a red velvet blanket. The images were used on a calendar before Monroe gained fame as an actress, but have since been used in numerous places, from memorabilia to even a series of wines from Napa Valley.

The right to publish suit comes from the family of Lee Strasberg, the famous acting coach under which Monroe studied and whom she became close friends with. Attorney M. Denton Richardson represents the Kelley family, as well as the family of another photographer and friend of Monroe's, Milton H. Greene, whose candid images have also been seen many places. While Richardson won the initial case, it remains under appeal as the Kelleys attempt to recover costs and fees from Marilyn Monroe LLC, a corporation established by the Strasbergs that they claim has gone bankrupt.