Saturday 16 December 2017

Rihanna demands €4m over photo on T-shirt

Claire McNeilly

THE local farmer who confronted popstar Rihanna for dancing "inappropriately" in his field has branded unauthorised pictures of her as "an invasion of her privacy".

Alderman Alan Graham was speaking as a court case involving the pop star got under way in London's High Court.

Rihanna (pictured) is suing Topshop for $5m (€3.8m) over a T-shirt with her photograph on it taken during filming in Northern Ireland in 2011.

The Bajan singer and two Los Angeles-based associated companies claimed she was entitled to damages for the unauthorised use of her image.

She says the fashion chain duped fans and may have damaged her reputation.

In September 2011, Rihanna caused a stir with her raunchy actions while shooting her new video near Ballyrobert, Co Down.

Indeed, Mr Graham even asked the 23-year-old singing sensation to stop filming her new song in the grain field he owns after he came across her taking her clothes off.

"My encounter with Rihanna was pleasant enough and we got on okay," he said. "We shook hands and parted company and I avoided any condemnation of her. People claim royalties for all sorts of things.


"When I was going to get my tractor, the ladies who were with Rihanna asked us not to go into another field because she was changing her clothes, so even though she is an actress and dresses up in certain ways, she still is a lady who maintains her privacy."

But the DUP councillor also said people shouldn't be carried along on "this mentality of litigation trying to claim money at every opportunity".

"People who are famous and have talents maybe should be willing to share a wee bit of the spin-off of it rather than taking everybody to court," Mr Graham said.

"Part of the story about Rihanna was about that particular tree in the field and it became quite famous.

"Lots of people have taken photographs of that and never once did I ask anyone for a penny – but maybe that's why I'm not wealthy."

The hearing is continuing and judgment is expected to be reserved next week.

Irish Independent

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