Playboy model to sign issue today

By J. Ferguson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 13, 2005

A few encouraging words last spring from her boyfriend changed UA student Leah Russo's life.

Russo, a communications junior, auditioned for Playboy's "Girls of the Pac-10" issue last spring during open auditions in Tucson and is now participating in the media tour.

"My boyfriend saw an article in the Wildcat and told me to try out," Russo said.

The 20-year-old will be signing copies of the "Girls of the Pac-10" today at the Quick Mart at 1250 E. Fort Lowell Road from noon to 2 p.m.

Of the 13 UA women posing for the magazine last spring, only Russo and a second UA student, Layla Andrew, were selected.

Russo told the Arizona Daily Wildcat she has never posed professionally before but said she couldn't resist the opportunity.

"It is a new experience for me," Russo said. "A once-in-a-lifetime thing."

Although Russo's friends received the news of her modeling for Playboy warmly, she said her parents were not initially as receptive.

"My friends are excited, and my boyfriend is very happy, but my parents are kind of traditional," Russo said.

She said after the initial shock of the news of her posing for Playboy, her parents came to support her decision.