July 22, 2010 9:03

Vampire Weekend 'Contra' model discovered she was on cover 'when daughter bought album'

Ann Kirsten Kennis' lawyer says she has no idea how band got hold of 'Polaroid' snap

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The model on the cover of Vampire Weekend's album 'Contra' says she does not know how the image came to the band's attention – and only found out she was on the record when her daughter saw it.

Ann Kirsten Kennis is suing the band and photographer Tod Brody, who licensed the photograph to them, for $2 million, claiming that her signature on the contract to use the image was forged.

"It was taken by her family," Kennis' lawyer Alan Neigher told Ew.com. "It was a Polaroid, not a modelling picture. Her mother was a chronic Polaroid snapshot taker, and used to sell whole archives of photographs to these shops, five bucks a hundred or whatever. Her mother may have given away to a charity bazaar a whole ream of photographs. We just really don't know… She has no idea how that photograph got into the photographer's hands."

According to Neigher, the former model, who now lives in Connecticut, only discovered her cover star role when her teenage daughter brought the album.

"Her daughter came home one day and said, 'Hi Mum, see your picture?'" he explained.

However, photographer Brody disputes that version of events and Kennis' claim that he did not take the photo.

"Ms Kennis' claim that I didn't take the photo is blatantly false," he told EW. "I took the photo in 1983. The photo was in my possession the entire time, for 26 years, until it was delivered to Vampire Weekend."

The band themselves have told NME they [url=http://www.nme.com/news/vampire-weekend/52110]find the situation "frustrating"[/ul], with frontman Ezra Koenig explaining the band cannot comment on the legal proceedings further.

"There's nothing we can say about it," he said. "We're not trying to be mysterious. I imagine in the next few months there'll be plenty to talk about. Given it's our first time we just want to do it properly."

Meanwhile, the band's label XL Recordings have issued the following statement: "As is standard practice, Vampire Weekend and XL Recordings licensed the rights to use the photo on the cover of 'Contra' pursuant to a license agreement that contains representations and warranties authorizing this use of the photo.

"Now that a lawsuit has been filed, we look forward to having the matter resolved in court. We will be filing our response after we have had an opportunity to review the allegations. Consistent with our practice, we will not be commenting further about the pending litigation at this time."

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