Some of you may remember Gear magazine. Founded in 1998 by professional sleazebag Bob Guccione, Jr. (the eldest son of the Penthouse publisher and the former boyfriend of Anne Coulter), Gear magazine was a fairly fratty publication, and because it was pigeonholed into the Maxim/FHM category, it struggled to stay afloat until it was eventually shuttered, five years after its first issue.
However, the magazine did make headlines briefly in March of 2000 by running a very racy photoshoot of Jessica Biel, who was 17 at the time. This was the cover.
The photoshoot inside the magazine was even more racy. They did help to change our perception of Biel, and they were a huge success for Gear Magazine. That said, a year later, Jessica Biel admitted the photoshoot was a terrible idea, as she told EW.
First of all, I wasn’t happy with those pictures either. I saw pictures that were different from the ones that ran in the magazine. We thought the layout was going to be much more subdued. I’m talking about how much was shown of my chest area. So I was shocked and my family was heartbroken about the pictures that ran. It was really difficult, but you know, it’s over now and I’m OK with it and my family knows that that’s never ever going to happen again.
Five years later, when Esquire named her Sexiest Woman Alive, Biel was even more adamant about her regret.
“A lot of people said to me, That was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen anybody do,” she says. “But I was miserable. It was horrible. I was humiliated. I just wanted my family to forgive me….I was taken advantage of in many different ways. Now I can look at the pictures and not be disgusted, and I don’t have to cry about it. I look at it as a learning experience.”
Because of that photoshoot, Biel refused to do nude scenes until 2009’s Powder.
One of the people who was most outspoken about the photoshoot in 2000, however, was one Stephen Collins, the patriarch of 7th Heaven whose past transgressions with underage girls came to light this week. In fact, Collins was one of the the most outspoken people about the pictures.
“The press has gotten Jessica Biel’s age wrong in their recent stories about her,” says Collins, Biel’s minister father on the show. “She’s not 18, as has been widely reported. She’s 17, a minor.
” And as such, he said, “Jessica’s photo spread was child pornography. I don’t want my kid to get the message that that’s okay.
Collins and his wife, actress Faye Grant, have a 10-year-old daughter, and he says, “As a parent of a young daughter, this is very disturbing to me.”
He found that disturbing, did he? You know what I found disturbing? THAT AUDIOTAPE WHERE STEPHEN COLLINS CONFESSES TO INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL. But yeah, Collins. You were totally right. You wouldn’t want kids to get the message that posing for racy photographs is a bad idea, when there are much, much worst messages you could give them.