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Freelance photojournalist Greg Mathieson has filed suit against American Media Inc., home of Bonnie Fuller and her rag collection, for stealing his photo archive of some 1,400 photos. The archive was contaminated with anthrax through a letter sent to the company's Boca Raton offices in 2001; AMI then filed an insurance claim for "valuable papers" worth $250 million and, alleges Mathieson, included his collection in their lost property. By including his archive in the losses, Mathieson claims that the company falsely claimed ownership over his photos — and that's how we get to the whole "stealing" angle.

Additionally, Mathieson claims he had an agreement with a former AMI photo editor to be paid $1,500 each lost photo, though the company disputes that figure. And most absurdly, he charges that AMI failed to adequately protect his photos from contamination. Granted, the company also failed to protect photo editor Robert Stevens, who later died from anthrax inhalation — but seriously, some old photos of Princess Di? That's the real loss.

Photographer Accuses Publisher of Stealing Archive [NY Sun]