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


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]