Eva Ionesco to sue her mother Irina Ionesco for erotic images she took of her daughter and sold to Playboy

Eva Ionesco, right, in Berlin last year

French actress Eva Ionesco is suing her mother, photographer Irina Ionesco, over a set of provocative photos that were published in Playboy, featuring Eva at age elevan.

The Paris-born Irina Ionesco first drew fame in the early seventies with exhibitions of her controversial work in her native France. She went on to shoot a notoriously provocative series of images of her very young daughter Eva, posing her in erotic situations typically reserved for much older subjects.

One set from the series ended up in the October 1976 issue of Playboy (landing Eva the dubious distinction of “youngest model ever” in the magazine’s history). Irina subsequently lost custody of Eva (who was then raised by Christian Louboutin‘s parents, in an odd twist of fate).

Now 47, Eva is again trying to sue her mother from “emotional distress” resulting from a “stolen childhood.” Per the Telegraph:

This is the third time Eva, now 47, has tried to sue her mother for ’emotional distress’ caused by her ‘stolen childhood’. In 1998 the French police confiscated hundreds of photographs from her mother’s apartment in which Eva appears at the age of five in suggestive poses and in complete nudity.


Irina Ionesco, 77, has now been ordered to pay her daughter €10,000 in damages and hand over negatives of the pictures, the Daily Mail reports, although the court has rejected her demand for €200,000 in damages and for her mother to be barred from profiting from the photographs.

Eva’s lawyer, Jacques-Georges Bitoun further condemned the images, describing the seventies as “an era when paedophile networks still had a lot of influence,” and wondering:

‘How can one open the legs of a four year old girl and take a snap? If art is photographing a child in these positions, I understand nothing of art. The child is never presented as a child but as a ‘disguised prostitute’.’

It’s quite interesting to consider the differences between these images and those of ten-year-old Thylane Blondeau, who caused a media frenzy last year when unsettling images of the child made their way online.

Here’s one of the tamer shots of Eva, if you’re curious about the tone:

eva ionesco


(Main photo via Wenn)