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Montana files suit against Burbank teen.

August 11, 2001

Ryan Carter

BURBANK -- Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana has

filed suit against a Burbank high school student who allegedly sold

pornographic images from a web site devoted to the four-time National

Football League champion.

"The guy's using his name to sell pornography," said Montana's

attorney, Robert Mezzetti II, in a phone interview. "That's a no-no."

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The suit, which claims 18-year-old Emil Lazarian of Burbank damaged

Montana's reputation, was filed Aug. 6 in Santa Clara Superior Court.

Montana is asking for more than $5 million in damages.

But Lazarian, an 18-year-old Armenian exchange student, said he

innocently bought the Web site for $10 on Bulkregister.com, a site which

sells domain names, not knowing even who Joe Montana -- the football star

-- is.

"It's just a funny story," he said. "I had no idea who Joe Montana

was."

The site cannot be found now, but it linked to a pornographic site,

where browsers could by the domain name.

It was just a way of making money, Lazarian said.

When the family realized Montana's lawyers were suing, they returned

the site, Lazarian said.

Lazarian said there were links to pornography on the site, but no

graphic illustrations on the home page.

"In my country, when we say football, we mean soccer.In this country,

Montana is a popular last name and I'm sure Joseph is a popular first

name," he said, adding he didn't think this was a big issue.

Mezzetti declined to comment further on the case, but he said Montana

himself would probably make a public statement soon.

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