Marriage & Divorce - LawCall

A Dallas, Texas wedding photographer has been accused of holding their wedding photos hostage by a newlywed couple.

Andrew and Neely Moldovan hired photographer, Andrea Polito, to take pictures at their wedding and reception, which Polito did. However, weeks after the wedding when Neely asked Polito for the photos, the photographer told the new bride she would have to choose a cover photo for the album before the photos would be released.

The charge for the album cover was $125, which the Moldovans knew was in the contract, but refused to pay. After weeks of emailing back and forth, Polito finally said she wouldn’t make them pay the cover charge. However, two days later, Polito found out that the couple had been contacting local news outlets and telling them that the photographer was holding their wedding album hostage.

Polito says her 13-year old business was almost ruined overnight. Thus, she began a fight to “get my reputation back. I was proud of my accomplishments, what I’ve done. They took that away from me,” she said.

After the couple’s television interview aired, Polito’s business was, in effect, in shambles. Her wedding bookings went from 75-to 100 a year down to only 2 the following year. Add to that, the couple took to social media to make defamatory statements about Polito’s business.

Polito says she was forced to close her business within two years because of all of the negative publicity. So, she decided to file a civil lawsuit against the couple for defamation and disparaging statements made by the couple.

This is a story in which it would seem that they good guys win. A Dallas jury found in favor of Miss Polito and awarded her $1.08 million in damages for her suffering at the hands of the Moldovans. Polito says she is emotionally exhausted, but more than anything feels relieved to have her reputation restored.

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