A nude-magazine model and five others were arrested on Monday in Los Angeles after the iconic Hollywood sign was changed to read “Hollyboob.”
The pranksters breached the fenced-in area around the iconic sign and changed the “W” and “D” to “B” using tarps, the Los Angeles Police Department says. Police sent officers and a helicopter to the scene shortly after the change, and several individuals were arrested.
“They didn’t commit any permanent damage,” LAPD Sgt. Leonard Calderon told NBC Los Angeles. He added that the suspects claimed to be raising awareness about breast cancer with their prank.
Police did not identify the suspects, but one of them was apparently Julia Rose, a nude model and social media influencer with a history of using breasts to capture public attention.
Rose dated YouTuber Jake Paul through parts of 2020. She also enjoyed a bit of viral fame at the World Series in 2019, when she and some model friends flashed their breasts to TV cameras from seats behind home plate. The women claimed to be raising awareness about breast cancer at the time, while also promoting their subscription-based adult website, Shagmag.
“Julia Rose strikes again!” a Shagmag co-founder Stephen McHugh told Global News on Monday afternoon, in an unsolicited email statement.
Shagmag did not provide details about the other five individuals involved, but it did supply a photo showing two people at the base of the sign.
Rose also crowed about the incident on social media. “That’s meeee,” she tweeted in response to photos of the sign. She also shared several news stories about the prank, and tweeted a TikTok video showing her apparent arrest after the incident.
“That one time I changed the Hollywood sign to #Hollyboob,” she wrote in one tweet, which included a selfie with the Hollywood sign in the background. The photo shows Rose in a Shagmag crop-top with her tongue out and her middle fingers raised.
YouTube prankster Jack Tenney has also publicly claimed responsibility for the stunt, which he described on Twitter as “the ultimate boob job.”
All six suspects were cited for misdemeanor trespassing and released, police told the Los Angeles Times.
It was not immediately clear how the sign was raising awareness about breast cancer, beyond pointing out the existence of breasts. Rose’s social media posts also did not include any links to fundraising or awareness campaigns as of Tuesday morning.
Rose offered a different explanation in an interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail after the incident. She said she orchestrated the prank to protest social media policies against nudity after she and her Shagmag business were booted off the platform last year.
“This was to show them I still have a voice,” she told the tabloid. “I’m not doing anything more than what Playboy is doing so I think they’re discriminating against my accounts.”
Rose and her fellow Shagmag models claimed to be raising money for breast cancer back in 2019, when they were banned from all Major League Baseball stadiums for their infamous flash. Rose said at the time that a portion of their subscriptions would go toward the breast cancer cause, though she and Shagmag never provided further details.
Mark Panatier, head of the Hollywood Sign Trust, condemned the prank in a statement to the L.A. Times.
“It’s unfortunate that such an important icon for the city of L.A. is not being appreciated,” he said. “This is an icon that’s there for visual reinforcement of the importance of Hollywood, not just for the city of L.A. but to the world. It needs to be upheld. It doesn’t need to be demeaned.”
LAPD Capt. Steve Lurie, of the city’s Hollywood division, also frowned upon the prank in a tweet.
“Los Angeles landmarks are precious to those of us @LAPDHollywood and this was way uncool,” he tweeted. “Not to mention the terrain is quite steep & dangerous.”
Monday’s prank is only the latest to befall the famous Hollywood sign.
Pranksters famously changed the sign to read “Hollyweed” for New Year’s Day in 2017. It was also altered to read “Holywood” for a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1987.