Rihanna sues TopShop for $5 million for using her image on a T shirt
Published 17/05/2013 | 11:45
The singer is said to be filing a lawsuit against the giant British retailer for selling T-shirts bearing her image without her consent.
A source revealed that Rihanna’s team tried to negotiate with Topshop owners for eight months over the rights to the image without success.
“They offered her $5,000 and said they don’t care,” an insider revealed to the New York Post.
“Rihanna’s management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told, ‘We do what we want.’ They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, UK law does not protect the artist.”
At the heart of the dispute is said to be the way the company has handled the negotiation. Rihanna is believed to have been unhappy with how she has been treated by Topshop, which is chaired by billionaire Sir Philip Green.
The singer is about to launch her second collection with TopShop rivals River Island, with the collection hitting stores next week.
“What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, ‘Go to hell. We don’t care; we are going to continue selling you.’ Topshop is now in the United States. They set up in Manhattan and Nordstrom, but they know better than to do this in the US because they would get in trouble,” the source continued.
“Even though the UK laws don’t protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1 million in litigation at this point. She says it’s the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong.”
The pop star has reportedly hired international law firm Reed Smith to file the suit in London. As part of the case, Rihanna has handed over the details of her fashion deals with Armani and River Island, a direct competitor to Topshop in the UK.