Holly Van Voast, Frequently Topless Lady, Gets Topless in Court

Van Voast, via @lensjockey
News from the naked beat: Holly Van Voast may be one of New York's most publicly nude personas, having stripped in Times Square, the Staten Island Ferry, Grand Central Terminal, and, most likely, in her own home, in the name of nudity activism. (You may have seen her walking about the city, nude on top, sporting a mustache.) Most recently, in August, she stripped in Grand Central, which meant she had to go to court yesterday. When she did, she stripped again -- or, at least, "removed her black coat to reveal her bare breasts to the court," reports the New York Times. Among those witnessing the incident were her 89-year-old court-appointed lawyer, Franklin Schwartz, Judge Rita Mella, and a stenographer.

The New York Times does not seem amused:

Appearing for a summons she received after exposing herself inside Grand Central in August, Ms. Van Voast wasted little time in building an unimaginably poor defense.

Things were tabled until the afternoon so people could recover. When they did, Van Voast eventually admitted that her behavior had been out of line, avoiding being held in contempt of court. She also said "no one is brave enough" to join her in toplessness, which is not quite true.

Ultimately, Van Voast's case will be dismissed if she keeps her clothes on in public for six months.

On her Twitter, she writes, "the judge and I reached an understanding. It has been a challenging summer!"

Her adorable lawyer, for his part, "said he had never seen anything quite like this in his 62 years of practicing law."

In Court for Disrobing, and Doing It Again [NYT]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.

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Courageous, outstanding, amazing, different, stand-outish, yes.

Wise, intelligent, loving, humble, good?

Holly Van Voast
Holly Van Voast

Hmmm, well, I don't think that you quite understood what happened, because I am not prohibited from getting topless at all. What happened is, is that if I don't get a summons in six months time, my case will be dismissed. Since the summons was for being topless in a private place (GCS is privately owned) and I have gotten no summonses for being topless at any other time in months doing it consistently... I find it easy to believe I won't be getting another summons.

Additionally, no one really has been brave enough to do what I have done... alone. There have been little sightings of what may be isolated incidents... but really, noone has trekked for miles and logged hours and hours (once even a complete 24 hour period outside the Apple Store by Central Park) (and documented) being completely topless all over the city. No activist, no performer... nobody has displayed the effort or the willingness to do what I have done. I don't count groups, since it should be obvious that it is much harder to do something like this alone and not in a safe group of friends or people who think the same.

I say this with respect, I mean I know you might not know the whole story, I understand that.

American Man
American Man

You are an example of freedom in this country.  But America has a long way to go.  I live in Georgia, a place where you can't by beer on Sunday.  It is refreshing to have seen your story on Huffpost. I admire your bravery, as for bravery anywhere.  It takes courage and you have that.  Most people can't get past peer pressure.

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