CNN defends Thompson hiring

CNN Headline News is sticking by its decision to hire former NYPD Blue actress Andrea Thompson as a news anchor, even though nude photos of Thompson are floating around the Internet, AP reports.

A story about the photos also made the front page of the New York Post on Friday. The photos, available on several Internet sites, were still shots of Thompson taken from a 1986 Italian film Manhattan Gigolo and separate photos from Black and White magazine.

The Atlanta-based cable network issued a statement supporting the 41-year-old anchor, who worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at KRQE-TV in Albuquerque, N.M. for less than a year before CNN called. ''We accept Andrea Thompson's explanation regarding the photos in question,'' CNN said.

Thompson, who played Detective Jill Kirkendall on NYPD Blue until leaving in 1999 and switching to a journalism career, defended the pictures. ''I did pose for Black and White magazine, a prestigious, artistic publication, several years ago,'' Thompson said. ''I did this as a piece of art and make no apologies for the creative decisions I've made as an artist in my 20-year career.''