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