A jury sided with Cardi B on Friday in a copyright infringement case involving a man who claimed the Grammy-winning rapper misused his back tattoo for her sexually suggestive 2016 mixtape cover art.
A federal jury in Southern California ruled Kevin Michael Brophy did not prove that Cardi B misused her likeness. After reading the jury foreman’s verdict, the rapper hugged his lawyers and erupted with joy.
Cardi B thanked the jurors and admitted that she was “very nervous” before hearing the verdict.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to lose or not,” she said as she exited the court. He was chanted by many journalists, photographers and more than 40 high school students. A fan held a sign asking if she could take him to her homecoming dance, to which she replied “Yes, I’ll see what I can do.”
“I told myself that if I win, I’m going to get Mr. Brophy out. But it’s not in my heart to get him out,” she said. In the courtroom, Cardi B has a brief, cordial conversation with Brophy and shakes her hand.
Brophy sued a year after the rapper’s 2016 mixtape was released. He called himself a “family man with minor children” and said he was caused “distress and humiliation” by the artwork – which depicted a tattooed man from behind with his head between the rapper’s legs inside a limousine . The man’s face cannot be seen.
“At the end of the day, I respect you as an artist,” Brophy told Cardi B.
Brophy’s lawyer A. Barry Capello said that the male models featured on the mixtape cover used photo-editing software to apply the back tattoos featured in tattoo magazines.
But Cardi B, whose real name is Belkalis Almanzar, denied the allegations during her testimony earlier this week — and had such an intense exchange with Capello that the trial was temporarily halted by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney. given.
Cardi B said she felt Brophy suffered no consequences as a result of the artwork. She said Brophy has legally harassed her for five years — and even at one point she said she missed her youngest child’s “first step” because of the lawsuit.
Cardi B said one artist used only “small portions” of the tattoo without her knowledge. She previously stated that the cover art — created by Tim Gooden — was a transformative fair use of Brophy’s likeness.
Capello said that Gooden was paid $50 to create a design, but was asked to find another tattoo after turning in an initial draft. He said Gooden googled “back tattoo” before finding an image and sticking it on the cover.
Cardi B’s attorney, Peter Anderson, stated that Brophy and the mixtape image are unrelated, noting that the model did not have a tattoo on her neck – which Brophy does.
“It’s not your customer’s back,” Cardi B said of the image, which featured a black model. Brophy is white. The rapper revealed that he posted a picture of a “famous Canadian model” on his social media.
“It’s not him,” she continued. “To me, it doesn’t look like his back at all. The tattoo was modified, which is protected by the First Amendment.”
Cardi B said the image hasn’t hindered Brophy’s employment or her ability to travel the world for opportunities with the popular surf and skate apparel brand.
The rapper said, “He hasn’t been fired from his job, which means the mixtape wasn’t attractive to him.” He hasn’t divorced. How is he suffering? He’s still at this job in a surf shop. Please tell me how he is suffering.”
Last month, Cardi BIn a criminal case that stemmed from a pair of brawls at New York City strip clubs, which required him to perform 15 days of community service. Earlier this year, the rapper was awarded $1.25 million in a defamation lawsuit against a celebrity news blogger who posted videos saying he had used cocaine, contracted shingles and prostitution. was involved in