The topless woman in New York City who sued the police department over her arrests has won the case.
Holly Van Voast was known for taking advantage of the fact that it’s perfectly legal to walk around topless in New York City, male or female, and trying to get photos of celebrities. Yes, the paparazzi can be bothersome if you’re famous, but it’s just as legal to grab pictures of celebrities as it is to be topless in New York City.
Holly Van Voast has been arrested multiple times for doing both, and the NYPD had no business putting her in handcuffs.
Known as “Harvey Van Toast, the topless paparazzo,” she stalked the streets of New York City without anything covering her chest but an easily removed overcoat, and bears a pencil-thin mustache. She also wears a Marilyn Monroe wig. The internet has not been kind to her either, as stories about her have led to some hateful comments, but the topless woman has come away victorious.
A $40,000 settlement was reached between Holly Van Voast and the New York Police Department for the wrongful and illegal arrests. The topless woman told the local press:
“The lawsuit covers 10 incidents. But that doesn’t count the many, many times I talked myself out of handcuffs. That happened so much. … All of us agreed I would really not do very well with a judge or a jury. That’s just based on — you can look up any story about me online in the past two years, and the comments are just hideous. I was just a scapegoat for people’s anger.”
Holly Van Voast, 47, was doing what was actually every New Yorker’s legal right, being creative. She wasn’t breaking any laws in what she did, but that hadn’t stopped the NYPD from arresting her at least 10 times. She claims the settlement amount is actually quite small for what she’s gone through, including alleged accusations of mental illness and forced psychiatric evaluation.
All criminal charges were dropped before the settlement.
The topless woman left New York, relocating to Kentucky in order to pen a book about her experiences. She can only call what happened to her in the Big Apple a massive case of abuse. Among the places she’d been arrested included a Hooters restaurant, the subway, an elementary school, and the Bronx Day Parade.
Holly Van Voast might not have won as much as she thinks she deserves, but the topless woman has finally been cleared of charges after her legal battle.
[image via themathhattan.com]