SANTA ANA, California – A self-styled family man with a distinctive back tattoo felt humiliated after Cardi B abused her likeness for her sexually suggestive mixtape cover, her lawyer said during opening discussions Tuesday.
Kevin Michael Brophy is suing the Grammy-winning musician in a $ 5 million copyright infringement lawsuit in a federal court in Southern California. His lawyers say Brophy’s life was turned upside down and he suffered from heartache due to the 2016 artwork.
Brophy’s attorney A. Barry Cappello said the photo editing software was used to put the tattoo on his back, which appeared in tattoo magazines, on the male model used on the cover of the mixtape. The image shows a man tattooed from behind with his head between the rapper’s legs. The man’s face is not seen.
Cardi B, who is expected to testify during the trial, is fighting the allegations and said an artist used only a “small fraction” of the tattoos without his knowledge. He had previously said that the cover – created by Timm Gooden – was a transformative use of Brophy’s likeness.
“Their life has been turned upside down,” Cappello told the jury as Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, watched from the defense table. He said the image disturbed Brophy along with her wife Lindsay Michelle Brophy, who he says initially asked her husband if he was on the cover. The couple has two young children.
Brody said he once regarded his back tattoo of a tiger fighting a snake as a “Michelangelo piece” that has since become “goiter and disgusting”.
Defense documents revealed that the model who posed for the photos was Black, while Brophy is white.
Cardi B’s attorney Peter Anderson said Brophy and the mixtape image aren’t related. He said the model had no tattoos on her neck, which Brophy does.
“Brophy’s face wasn’t in the mixtape,” Anderson said during his opening statement. “He was already popular. He has nothing to do with Brophy.
But Brophy disputed in court that everyone who knows him believed he was on the cover of the mixtape. He said the offensive image was something he would never approve of.
Brophy said he sent a quit and desist letter to Cardi B’s representatives to have the tattoo removed, but he never received a reply.
“For me, it was something I was very proud of,” Brophy said of his tattoo. “Now, that image looks devalued. I feel robbed. I feel completely ignored. There are many things I would like to spend some time on. But the only way to remove it was to come here in this room. ”
Cappello said Gooden was paid $ 50 to create a design, but was later told to find another tattoo after delivering an initial draft. He said Gooden googled “back tattoos” before finding an image and pasting it on the cover.
Last month, Cardi B pleaded guilty to a criminal case resulting from a couple of fights at New York City strip clubs that required her to perform 15 days of community service. Earlier this year, the rapper received $ 1.25 million in a defamation lawsuit against a celebrity blogger who posted videos in which he falsely claimed he used cocaine, contracted herpes, and prostitution.