Topless Photographer Countersues Empire State Building for $5 Million

March 19, 2014 | Andy Cush

Allen Henson, the photographer who’s made a name for himself taking photos of topless women around New York City, was sued by the corporation that owns the Empire State Building earlier this year. This morning, he sent us and presumably several other journalists an update on his case: he’s countersuing for $5 million. Henson announced the news with little fanfare, forwarding an email from his attorney that reads “Attached is the Answer and Counterclaim filed with the Court today.”

“I’m not really taking it all that seriously, to be honest,” Henson told us of the original lawsuit back in January. “When you read the lawsuit, the language is pretty amateur. It doesn’t seem like this is a legitimate situation.”

The highlight of the countersuit comes when Henson uses suicide attempts at the building to shoot down the Empire State Realty Trust’s claim that his photos damaged its business and “reputation as a safe and secure family tourist attraction.”  “Denies,” reads Henson’s response, “and avers that the approximately 30 suicide attempts from the Observatory Deck, the most recent being in 2011, are the cause of damage ESB’s business and reputation.”

Anna Merlan at the Village Voice uploaded the whole counterclaim to Scribd. Read it below, and see the photos for which Henson was sued in the gallery.