Vampire Weekend’s ‘Contra’ cover star: ‘Don’t just use my picture all over the place’

Ann Kirsten Kennis speaks out about the $2million lawsuit she's filed

Vampire Weekend‘s ‘Contra’ album cover ‘star’ Ann Kirsten Kennis has spoken out about the $2million lawsuit she has filed against the band, their record label XL Recordings and photographer Tod Brody.

Kennis, whose photograph was also used heavily in an advertising campaign for ‘Contra’ before the album’s release in January, as well as featuring in the band’s live performances, said that she did not give permission for the image to be used.

In the lawsuit, the former model’s lawyer Alan Neigher claimed that Vampire Weekend purchased the image for $5,000 from New York photographer and filmmaker Tod Brody – although it continues by saying that he didn’t actually take the shot.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Kennis said, “It’s not even like it’s a Polaroid before a photo shoot, because the hair’s not done, the make-up’s not done, the lighting’s not done.”

Brody, who is the subject of a number of internet sites and videos alleging previous fraudulent activity, called Kennis‘ claim “absurd” and reaffirmed that he took the picture of Kennis in 1983.

He said: “I have kind of sat back over the last few years as people have made negative statements about me on the internet. I’m not going to take this any more. As with Ms Kennis, I just can’t allow people to make these flippant statements and get away with it.”

Meanwhile, Kennis also refuted claims that she should be happy that her picture is being used by Vampire Weekend.

“You start to see interviews from fans of the band, and they are like, ‘I would just be glad that my picture was on it.’ Well, not really. They are using it for their gain,” she said.

“Something is wrong here. It’s like, don’t just use my picture all over the place.”

A similar case in 2005 saw a Californian jury award ex-model Russell Christoff $15.6 million after finding that his image, which had been used without permission on a coffee product, accounted for five per cent of the product’s sales.

In July, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig told NME he was frustrated by the lawsuit, but could not talk about it further due to legal reasons.