Barstool Sports editor David Portnoy pulled photos of Tom Brady’s naked 20-month-old son off his website after a visit from Massachusetts state police, who told him the pictures were causing unnecessary headaches for a lot of people. A lot of people had called to complain, and the state attorney general’s office opened a preliminary investigation as to whether posting the pictures constituted child exploitation.
“I’ve never had cops knock on my door for anything in my life,” Portnoy said in an interview with the Boston Globe yesterday. “That is not a coincidence that this is one of the first times I’ve taken something down.”
The pictures showed the baby frolicking on the beach with his mother, Gisele Bundchen. Portnoy did not take the photos, but drew fire for his decision to post them alongside commentary about the size of the boy’s genitalia. That didn’t sit well with many readers, nor with the producer at WEEI radio station in Boston. Portnoy had been a regular on-air guest, but was dropped after posting the pictures.
“What he did was completely irresponsible,” Jason Wolfe, the station’s vice president of programming, wrote on Twitter. “It’s not about whether he was allowed to do it or not. It’s about common decency. And he showed none.”
Lawyers said Portnoy would probably not face child pornography charges because he did not appear to have “lascivious intent” in posting the picture. Some said that posting the images may have violated the child’s privacy rights, depending on where the photographs were taken.