Cardi B has won a lawsuit decided by a trial jury over a man’s claim that she misused his image on the cover of her debut 2016 mixtape, ‘Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1’.
Claimaint Kevin Brophy Jr alleged in a 2017 lawsuit that the rapper had 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”.
Previously, Cardi B had claimed that Brophy’s tattoo art was superimposed without her knowledge on the back of a male model who posed with her for the photoshoot. In his lawsuit, Brophy Jr. claimed that he suffered “distress and humiliation” because the cover art in question allegedly showed his distinctive back tattoos on a faceless man photographed with his head between the musician’s legs.
Yesterday (October 21) a jury at the Central District of California Court in Santa Ana ruled in the rapper’s favour of Cardi B “on all counts”, reports Pitchfork.
The jury found that the cover art’s publication did not violate the plaintiff’s publicity or privacy rights by depicting an altered photo of another man.
The Grammy award-winning rapper Tweeted to her followers after the ruling: “I just won this lawsuit …Im soo emotional right now 🥲…I wanna kiss Gods feet right now …..IM BEYOND GRATEFUL!!!!”
I just won this lawsuit …Im soo emotional right now 🥲…I wanna kiss Gods feet right now …..IM BEYOND GRATEFUL!!!!
— Cardi B (@iamcardib) October 21, 2022
Earlier this year Cardi B was set to testify in person in the $5million (£4.17million) lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said in July “it’s showtime”, as confirmation of Cardi B’s appearance was announced. “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,” they added.
“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 Cardi B’s team’s filing defending the artwork, it was stated: “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.”
The rapper and her legal team also alleged previously [via Pitchfork]: “What is [Kevin Michael Brophy, Jr.] really seeking? Simple: Whatever piece of Cardi B’s income he can gouge out, and whatever free ride on her famous coat-tails he can gain, through the extortionate means of this unfounded, preposterous action.”