Reema “Nicki” Bajaj, a 27-year-old lawyer from Illinois who pleaded guilty to prostitution last year, is now suing her former attorney for allegedly sharing naked photos of her.
In the lawsuit, Bajaj said her former lawyer Timothy Johnson, former prosecutor Calvin Campbell and a third, unnamed attorney shared nude photos of Bajaj with the public as well as “distressing” news articles. The website AboveTheLaw.com claimed that it had also obtained the naked photos of Bajaj and described them in detail. One of the two images showed Bajaj lying naked on a bed while another showed her on the same bed covered with a substance.
Bajaj, who studied at Northern Illinois University College of Law, was arrested in May 2011 after police found emails between her and a man in which she offered sexual acts for $50 to $100. Then 25, she was charged with prostitution after allegedly charging clients for sex and pleaded guilty in June 2012. She was sentenced to court supervision and 50 hours of community service and had to pay a $2,500 fine.
However, Bajaj claims she suffered extreme distress after the scandal unfolded because Johnson and Campbell recklessly shared graphic images of her at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill.
The lawsuit states that Johnson obtained a discovery file including “photographs of Ms. Bajaj that are of a personal and private nature” which “included nude images of Ms. Bajaj and images of a sexual nature involving” the former lawyer. The suit goes on to say that after reviewing the photos as part of the case, Johnson showed the naked photos to attorneys “who were not retained by or engaged in the representation of Ms. Bajaj.” It also states that “Campbell distributed copies of the photographs to various third parties...for improper purposes” who were not representing Bajaj in the case.
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Bajaj is suing the defense team for enduring “severe and extreme emotional distress,” which is described in the suit as anger, grief, embarrassment and humiliation as well as physical distress. The Daily Chronicle reported that the suit was filed because Bajaj is now having a harder time getting new clients because of the photos distributed by Johnson and Campbell. She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages for the distribution of her photos.
AboveTheLaw.com said it got the photos from an anonymous source who claims to have been a client of Bajaj. The source said he found her through a website called Adult FriendFinder and used her once a month for about a year, at a rate of $200 per hour.
Only 25 when the After the prostitution scandal erupted, Bajaj has since shut down her legal practice, Bajaj Law Offices. She was charged with three counts of prostitution after pleading guilty in June 2011 to a misdemeanor count of prostitution.
"I am probably one of the few attorneys who knows what it feels like to be accused and in need of help. This action will only make me stronger and better able to understand what my clients are going through," Bajaj posted on her website in 2011 before the post was removed.