Cardi B acquitted in lawsuit over racy mixtape art

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A jury sided with Cardi B on Friday in a copyright infringement case involving a man who claimed the Grammy-winning rapper improperly used her back tattoos for the cover of her 2016 sexually suggestive mixtape. .

The federal jury in Southern California ruled that Kevin Michael Brophy failed to prove that Cardi B misappropriated his image. After the jury forewoman read the verdict, the rapper hugged her lawyers and looked happy.

Cardi B thanked the jury and admitted she was “pretty nervous” before hearing the verdict.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to lose or not,” she said after leaving the courthouse. She was surrounded by several reporters, photographers and more than 40 high school students who chanted her name. A fan held up a sign asking if she could take it to her homecoming dance, to which she replied, “Yeah, I’ll see what I can do.”

“I told myself that if I won, I was going to curse Mr. Brophy. But I don’t have it in my heart to curse him,” he said. In the courtroom, Cardi B had a short, cordial chat with Brophy and shook his hand.

Brophy filed the lawsuit a year after the release of the rapper’s 2016 mixtape. He called himself a “family man with minor children” and said he was “distressed and humiliated” by the artwork, which showed a tattooed man from behind with his head between the rapper’s legs inside a limousine. You can’t see the man’s face.

“At the end of the day, I respect you as an artist,” Brophy told Cardi B.

Brophy’s attorney, A. Barry Cappello, said photo-editing software was used to place the back tattoo, which has appeared in tattoo magazines, on the male model featured on the cover of the mixtape.

But Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, disputed the allegations during her testimony earlier in the week, and had such an intense back-and-forth with Cappello that US District Judge Cormac Carney briefly halted the trial.

Cardi B said that she felt that Brophy had not suffered any consequences as a result of the artwork. She said that Brophy has legally harassed her for five years, and even at one point she said that she missed the “first step” of her youngest child because of her trial.

Cardi B provided prompt answers to several of Cappello’s questions. On one occasion, the lawyer asked her to calm down, but she sharply rejected her claim that she knew about the doctored image.

Their heated exchange prompted the judge to send jurors out of the Santa Ana, California, courtroom, telling both sides that he was considering a mistrial. After a brief break, he called the discussion “unprofessional” and “unproductive,” but allowed questions to resume, then placed new restrictions on both sides.

Cardi B said an artist used only a “small portion” of the tattoos without her knowledge. She had previously said that the cover, created by Timm Gooden, was a transformative fair use of Brophy’s image.

Cappello said Gooden was paid $50 to create a design but was told to find another tattoo after he submitted an initial draft. He said Gooden Googled “back tattoos” before finding an image and pasting it on the cover.

Cardi B’s attorney, Peter Anderson, said that Brophy and the image on the mixtape are not related, noting that the model did not have any tattoos on her neck, which Brophy does.

“It’s not your client’s back,” Cardi B said of the image, which featured a black model. Brophy is white. The rapper noted that she posted a photo of the “famous Canadian model” on her social media.

“It’s not him,” he continued. “To me, he looks nothing like his back. The tattoo was modified, which is protected by the First Amendment.”

Cardi B said the image hasn’t impeded Brophy’s employment at a popular surf and skate clothing brand or his ability to travel the world in search of opportunities.

“He hasn’t been fired from his job,” said the rapper, who hinted that the mixtape was not lucrative for her. “He has not been divorced. How has he suffered? He is still in a surf shop at this job. Please tell me how he has suffered.

Last month, Cardi B pleaded guilty to a criminal case stemming from a pair of fights at New York City strip clubs that forced her to perform 15 days of community service. Earlier this year, the rapper was awarded $1.25 million in a defamation lawsuit against a famous news blogger who posted videos falsely claiming he used cocaine, had herpes and engaged in prostitution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *