The singer filed a lawsuit on Monday against the retailer for copyright and trademark infringement, violation of right of publicity and false endorsement over a Forever 21 ad campaign that replicated music videos from her “Thank U, Next” album. Grande is seeking at least $10 million in damages.
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According to court documents filed at the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, Grande claims that after declining an endorsement deal by Forever 21 and its beauty brand, Riley Rose, in February over the retailer’s “unwillingness to pay the fair market value for a celebrity of [her] stature,” the retailer “instead stole her name, likeness and other intellectual property to promote their brand for free” in an ad campaign launched after talks of the deal ended with the singer.
The ad campaign in question included roughly 30 images and videos posted across Forever 21’s web site and social media accounts repurposing music video stills and other imagery from Grande’s “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings” music videos, tagging Grande in the posts’ captions.
Other imagery shows the retailer using a model that looked similar to Grande dressed in clothing and a hairstyle resembling those she wore in the “7 Rings” music video. In certain videos, the song was also played over the images.
Court documents state that once Grande was aware of the campaign in February, her representatives demanded Forever 21 take down the imagery. But the retailer did not do so until April.
Grande is demanding a minimum of $10 million in damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting Forever 21 from using her name, images and likeness in any future campaigns.
A court date has not yet been set over the lawsuit.
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