“It’s showtime,” said U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney after it was evident that early settlements were out of the question in the case of Cardi B vs. Kevin Michael Brophy Jr.
In October 2017, over a year after the release of Cardi’s debut mixtape, Gangsta B***h Music Vol. 1, Brophy filed a likeness lawsuit for $5 million against the rapper claiming she misappropriated his distinct back tattoo on the male model photographed. However, the “Bodak Yellow” star refuted this, claiming she has no prior knowledge of the tattoo’s usage.
Brophy added that he suffered “distress and humiliation” because of the cover art’s sexual nature which features the faceless man in between Cardi’s legs as she’s drinking a beer in the back of a limousine. To her defense, the entertainer mentioned in her filing that the tattoo in question is “demonstrably different.” She explained, “The neck tattoo is removed; the arm is repositioned; the lighting and shadowing is manipulated to fit the interior of the limousine; the image is tilted to match the forward-leaning posture of the model’s body; the image is tinted, shaded, and re-colored to fit the overall scheme of the underlying photo used in the (cover image); and the periphery fades to black.”
Regarding the case, Judge Carney added, “I don’t think this case is a complex case, but I think it’s a very interesting case, and it’s one I think the jurors would enjoy. I’d like them to know this is the case before they think about whether they want to get off the case or not.”
Brophy describes himself as a “family man with minor children” who is allegedly faced with “uncomfortable comments, questions, and ridicule from community members and family.” His lawsuit also states, “His family dynamic has been adversely affected, and his work and professional life have been unalterably damaged by his having to explain this unconsented-to, offensive, and malicious use of his image.”
On Monday (July 18), ground rules were set, and it was confirmed that Cardi is expected to testify in person to the panel of eight jurors. The four-day trial is set to begin on August 3.