Gigi Hadid claims the paparazzi agency suing her for using their photo on Instagram is trying to extort her for money.
In documents obtained by The Blast, the 23-year-old supermodel’s legal team said it is “an unfortunate reality” that paparazzi already makes a living by “exploiting her image and selling it for profit.”
However, they claim the lawsuit filed by Xclusive-Lee Inc. takes their exploitation to the “next level.”
Hadid’s attorneys state that Xclusive-Lee Inc. is seeking “substantial monetary damages” for Hadid posting an image of herself she found online, adding that she only posted it on her personal Instagram for a “matter of days.” They also explained that she reposted the photo without any intention of making money off of it, and “did not market or sell it.”
“This lawsuit appears to be nothing more than an effort to extract money from Ms. Hadid,” Hadid’s attorney, John Quinn, argued.
He continued, “It is one thing for paparazzi to take advantage of Ms. Hadid by surveilling her, taking photographs of her every public movement, and selling them for profit. It is quite another to demand damages based on an Instagram post by the very person whose fame the paparazzi sought to exploit in the first place.”
In October, when Xclusive-Lee Inc. first pursued the lawsuit, Hadid defended her use of the image on Instagram.
“The photo is by a Paparazzi & is of me on the street outside an event last week. These people make money off us everyday, LEGALLY stalking us day in and day out,” she wrote in a post. “For someone to take a situation where I was trying to be open, and sue me for a photo I FOUND ON TWITTER (with no photographers name on the image), for a photo he has already been paid for by whatever outlet put it online (!!!), is absurd.”
Xclusive-Lee Inc.’s lawsuit is the second time Hadid has been sued for copyright infringement. Photographer Peter Cepeda was the first to file a lawsuit against the model in 2016 for allegedly ripping off a photo he took of her.
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