Beyonce and Jay-Z face a copyright infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles for allegedly using a monologue voiced by an uncredited Jamaican choreographer for their 2018 track “Black Effect” without permission, according to court papers obtained today.
In the suit, filed late Tuesday in federal court, dancer Lenora Stines alleges she spoke on tape of her feelings about “unconditional love” at the request of the celebrity couple. She contends she was told her thoughts would be used only in a promotional video.
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A representative for the performers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Stines says she was asked in March 2018 to help hire dancers for a video to publicize the forthcoming Everything Is Love album and tour.
Beyonce and Jay-Z then asked if she would record her musings for the clip, Stines alleges.
Stines describes herself in the complaint as “extremely well-respected and highly regarded in the island of Jamaica, and throughout the world for her artistry and wisdom.”
When she inquired into the terms of an agreement she was asked to sign before recording her monologue, she alleges she was told that the agreement “was just a standard document that everyone had to sign.” She was then told not to worry because the agreement was “only going to be utilized so that her voice could be used in the video,” the suit alleges.
Stines says that when she asked if she could take a screen shot of the agreement to send to her attorney son, she was “explicitly told that she could not send a picture of the agreement to anyone to review.”
When Everything Is Love was issued in June 2018, the plaintiff felt “shock, horror and chagrin” to discover her vocals were used in the song “Black Effect,” leaving her feeling “violated,” the suit alleges.
City News Service contributed to this report.