Lindsay Marsh Utah woman ordered to give boudoir album to husband in divorce as the former couple each make their own case over the risque photos.
A Utah woman has told of being ‘violated’ after a judge recently ruled that she must hand over a photo album of her ‘boudoir style’ nude photos to her ex-husband, after he requested them as part of their divorce.
Lindsay Marsh told KSL News that a judge forced her ‘to distribute basically p*rn’ after ruling that her husband of 25 years had the right to keep the intimate messages she scrawled inside the album.
She said that she commissioned the photos in the early years of their marriage, and wrote ‘loving’ and intimate messages to him inside the album.
But, when she filed for divorce in April 2021 after 25 years together, her ex-husband Chris Marsh said that he wanted to keep the album, for the memories.
Marsh said the boudoir album was the only thing her ex,fought to keep during the divorce, which was finalized in July.
‘It’s violating and it’s incredibly embarrassing and humiliating,’ she said.
‘The only way I can hopefully protect someone else from going through the same situation is to tell my story and expose that these are the types of things that he thinks are OK.’
Marsh said she was shocked when her ex requested the book of photos, and protested.
But Judge Michael Edwards, sitting in the 2nd district court, sided with her ex-husband.
As a gesture, he said Marsh should take the book back to the original photographer, and have a copy made, with her body edited out.
Marsh went to the photographer, but the photographer refused, arguing that the images were art which should not be altered.
The judge then ruled, in August this year, that Marsh must hand the album to a third party, who would themselves edit the images.
Define a picture? Define a memory?
‘That person is to do whatever it takes to modify the pages of the pictures so that any photographs of [Lindsay Marsh] in lingerie or that sort of thing or even without clothing are obscured and taken out,’ he wrote in a ruling shared with The Salt Lake Tribune.
‘But the words are maintained for memory’s sake.’
Marsh said the thought of handing the book over to a stranger was even more traumatic, and rang the judge’s clerk to ensure she hadn’t misunderstood the ruling.
‘I just want to clarify,’ she recalled saying. ‘The judge has ordered me to give nude photos of my body to a third party that I don’t know without my consent?’
When the original photographer found out, she agreed to edit the photos.
‘That’s even violating,’ said Marsh.
At what point inappropriate?
‘Because these are things that were sensual and loving that I wrote to my husband that I loved. You’re my ex-husband now.’
However, Marsh understands from discussions between their attorneys that her husband is not happy with the edited photos.
‘If all he was truly interested in was the inscriptions, he got those,’ she told KSL.
‘I’ve complied with the court’s order, even though I believe strongly that [the] order [is] violating on many levels,’ she said.
Lindsay Marsh is legally required to keep the originals until December, in case her ex objects to any of the edits.
She then plans to hold a burning party, and throw them into the fire.
‘It’s going to be amazing,’ she said.
Chris Marsh told The Tribune the books were full of memories, inscriptions and photos, stressing they were not ‘inappropriate-type books.’
He said: ‘I cherish the loving memories we had for all those years as part of normal and appropriate exchanges between a husband and wife, and sought to preserve that in having the inscriptions.’
Case raises wider questions
He said their case raises wider questions for society.
‘As boudoir photography becomes a more common way for a couple to share intimacy, where is the line of appropriateness when they split up?’
He noted that his ex-wife’s take on the order was ‘not my perspective nor the perspective of an impartial judge.’
‘It appears that she has intentionally misrepresented and sensationalized several aspects of a fair proceeding to manipulate the opinions of others for attention and validation of victimhood,’ he told KSL.
A criminal law professor at the University of Utah College of Law told KSL.com that the case as ‘very strange’ even though the judge ordered the images to be edited.
‘In my opinion, the judge here has just made a mistake in the balancing of interests and has tipped things too far in one direction,’ Paul Cassell said.
He added that with third parties handling the images, it creates a risk of distribution – whether intentional or not.
‘And these are the kinds of cats that are very difficult to put back in the bag once they get out,’ he said.