Remember back in the day, when nude photos of a celebrity could ruin a Hollywood career?
Well, things have changed. Today's female stars have proved they can survive the revelation of embarrassing photos from their past. In fact, some have proved the entire experience to be a career booster.
"The Hills" star Audrina Patridge hit a bump in the road last week when risque topless (and bottom-less) photos found their way online. The 22-year-old reality TV star explained in a MySpace messagethat they were "taken when I was just out of high school and beginning to model." She called herself "naive, overly trusting of people and inexperienced."
So is Patridge in jeopardy of becoming a pop culture afterthought?
Fellow MTV ingenue Kristin Cavallari (" Laguna Beach") told Us Weekly that Patridge "can move on from it."
Besides, Cavallari noted: "She looks good. Her body is bangin'!" It's hard to add more wisdom to the conversation than that, but RedEye will try its best. Here's what Patridge can learn from other starswho've gone on the defensive after nude pictures surfaced.
Vanessa Hudgens ("HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL")
SITUATION: Nude photos of the teen star were leaked to the Internet about a month after she starred in Disney's hit sequel "High School Musical 2."
SOLUTION: Say you're sorry. "I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos," Hudgens said, later calling the experience "traumatic." The apology appeared to be good enough for Disney--the company asked Hudgens back for "HSM3."
Antonella Barba (" AMERICAN IDOL")
SITUATION: Raunchy pics posted online overshadowed Barba's singing voice on "American Idol." She was allowed to stay on the show (even though a nude photo scandal spelled the end for former "Idol" contestant Frenchie Davis), but America stopped voting for her soon after.
SOLUTION: Take advantage of the situation. In interviews after her exit from "Idol," Barba said she wanted to block out the photo scandal. But she also said she wanted to capitalize on her fame from "Idol" and "strike while the iron is hot." So far she hasn't been heard from.
Vanessa Williams ("UGLY BETTY")
SITUATION: Before she became a star singer and actress, Williams lost her Miss America crown in 1984 after naked pics of her surfaced and caused a stir.
SOLUTION: Live and learn. Williams has emerged as a voice of reason for young starlets caught in the media's cross hairs. She offered advice to Hudgens shortly after Hudgens' photos made news. "She's got talent, and she's professional," Williams said of Hudgens, according to People magazine, "and those are the things that'll help her survive in life."
Paris Hilton ("THE SIMPLE LIFE")
SITUATION: Forget photos--the semi-famous socialite became a household name after a grainy sex tape became an Internet sensation.
SOLUTION: Go after the exploiter. Hilton directed her outrage at ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon, who made the tape, and her family slapped him with a lawsuit. Meanwhile, Hilton became a reality TV star on Fox's "The Simple Life" and seemingly continues to make news with her every move.
Cameron Diaz ("SHREK THE THIRD")
SITUATION: The family-friendly "Shrek" and "Charlie's Angels" star nearly saw family-unfriendly photos and a fetish video--which she made as a 19-year-old model--go public.
SOLUTION: Keep a lid on it. Though this option no longer is available to "The Hills' " Patridge, Diaz showed that preventive action can nip a potential scandal in the bud. Diaz sued photographer John Rutter, who shot the video, asking a judge to stop him from distributing the photos or the video. In 2006, Diaz was awarded an undisclosed settlement after a judge ruled against Rutter.