Cardi B is set to testify in person in a $5million (£4.17million) lawsuit case over the artwork on her 2016 mixtape, ‘Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1’.
Kevin Brophy Jr alleged that the rapper photoshopped his distinctive back tattoo onto someone else’s body and used it without his permission, which ultimately appropriated his likeness in “a misleading, offensive, humiliating and provocatively sexual way.”
At a hearing yesterday (July 18), a federal judge in Santa Ana, California, confirmed that Cardi would be expected to testify in the case in person.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said of the case “it’s showtime,” before adding: “I don’t think this case is a complex case, but I think it’s a very interesting case, and it’s one I think the jurors would enjoy.
“I’d like them [the jurors] to know this is the case before they think about whether they want to get off the case or not.”
In the 2017 lawsuit, plaintiff Brophy Jr. claims that he suffered “distress and humiliation” because the cover art in question allegedly shows his distinctive back tattoos on a faceless man photographed with his head between the musician’s legs.
Previously, Cardi B has claimed that Brophy’s tattoo art was superimposed without her knowledge on the back of a male model who posed with her for the photo. Cardi B went on to argue that it’s clear the image is not of the same person.
Filings in the case state: “The neck tattoo is removed; the arm is repositioned; the lighting and shadowing is manipulated to fit the interior of the limousine; the image is tilted to match the forward-leaning posture of the model’s body; the image is tinted, shaded, and re-coloured to fit the overall scheme of the underlying photo used in the (cover image); and the periphery fades to black.”
On Monday (July 18), lawyers for Brophy asked Judge Carney to amend his statement of the case.“Plaintiff alleges that he did not and would not consent to defendants’ use of his likeness, and that he is being portrayed in an offensive manner depicting sexual activity with Cardi B,” the edited statement now reads.
Cardi’s lawyer Alan Dowling also asked the judge for an edit to the case in which, according to Cardi, Brophy “is not the man depicted in the image, that the image does not portray actual sexual activity (and) that defendants’ use of his tattoo design did not show plaintiff in a false light or would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in plaintiff’s position.”
Brophy claims that he has been faced with “uncomfortable comments, questions, and ridicule from community members and family” regarding the image. His lawsuit adds: “His family dynamic has been adversely affected, and his work and professional life have been unalterably damaged by his having to explain this unconsented-to, offensive, and malicious use of his image.”
The case is set to be heard in court on August 3.