The latest celebrity photo scandal does not involve nudity just stupidity. Svitlana Sangary is a Los Angeles-based attorney whose solo practice focuses on business litigation according to her website. A client who had a dispute with her reproted her to the California State Bar for allegedly photoshopping herself into over 50 pictures with A-list celebrities (like George Clooney, Kim Kardashian and Barbra Streisand), and high-ranking officials, (like Presidents Obama and Clinton). In several of the photos, Ms. Sangary used the exact same picture of herself. I guess she was practicing that old adage “Fake it till you make it.”
She had no license to use the images and now she will likely have no license to practice law (at least for a little while). Her response to the complaint was a rambling 16-page stream of consciousness which did not help her cause. It also did not help her that at her disciplinary trial she refused to answer questions by asserting her “First Amendment rights”
Here is an excerpt from the “soliloquy.” (as California State Judge Donald Miles called it):
There is a popular expression, ‘sweet sixteen’. The foregoing 16
pages can be characterized as bitter-sweet sixteen, in SANGARY’s
view. It goes without saying as to why they are bitter. Can one
envision the acts in the civil arena, more unseemly than the ones
described above? But what SANGARY views as sweet is that this
country, the United States of America, is truly the land of
opportunity, where anything and everything is possible.
SVITLANA SANGARY came to this country in her twenties, with
nothing, and married another immigrant, who also had nothing.
SANGARY passed LSAT [sic] without taking the preparation
course, graduated cum laude from the Pepperdine University
School of Law, and passed the bar without even taking the Barbri
course. SANGARY’s American dream has come true, as she has
been able to achieve a point wherein now, in her thirties,
SANGARY is a prominent donor and philanthropist, supporting
important social causes, who had recently received the email from
President Obama, with the subject line ‘I need your help today’,
asking SVITLANA SANGARY for an additional donation
Judge Miles said Sangaray also attached 30 more exhibits, including an e-mail purporting to support her philanthropy and close connection with President Obama but which was merely a campaign email asking that she chip in “$3 or more” to help the Democratic Party.
Sanagry unwisely kept the images on her website for more than two years while she fought the charges and even more unwisely dodged and missed court conferences. The page of photos has since been removed from her site, but the images were still visible in time for The Recorder magazine to snag a screenshot :
The court recommended that Sangary be suspended for 6 months placed on probation for three years. That decision is awaiting approval from the state Supreme Court but it sems likely to be affirmed. Six months seems like a pretty mild suspension in light of the utter lack of judgment revealed in posting the pictures, keeping them up once the charges were made, fighting the court for two years, missing court conferences and not putting up any valid defense. I guess in LA this type of behavior is a little more common and understandable as half the people walking around LA are lying about their celebrity connections anyway.