A woman from Northern Ireland is suing a US sex website for depicting her as a prostitute and using private photos of her that had been taken by an ex.

The woman, from County Antrim, is claiming damages for "substantial distress" caused by the site's use of the images without her consent.

It is an unusual case in that the defendant is outside of the UK court's jurisdiction. However, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has been given permission to pursue the case.

Her lawyers are accusing the company that runs the site of libel and malicious falsehood, according to the BBC.

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Solicitor Hilary Carmichael stated that the company has ignored the woman's requests to remove the pictures, which had been taken by an ex-partner during their relationship. Carmichael's client had never consented to the pictures being seen by anyone other than her partner, the solicitor said.

Carmichael added: "On the website, the plaintiff is depicted as a prostitute and/or a sex worker and we are saying that the defendant has profited as a result of the publication to which our client did not give consent.

"[The pictures] were posted maliciously by her ex-partner. The plaintiff reported the incident to the police who informed her there was not much they could do."

The woman's lawyers insist that they have a strong case and that if the photographs are not removed willingly by the company, they will seek an injunction.

Carmichael also referred to "an obligation on the defendant to start monitoring this type of site".

The defendant's listed address is in New York, but is believed to be being operated out of Belize.