Pop star Katy Perry has filed a £6.5 million publicity rights lawsuit against GHD’s parent company Jemella Group Limited alleging that her name and image are being used on the GHD website to promote its hair care products and that she is not been compensated.
The right of publicity gives the right to control the commercial use of one’s image. The right has been recognized in a number of US states since the 1950′s and is mostly invoked by celebrities who find their likeness used to promote goods and services without their permission. Interestingly, the right doesn’t exist in England or Ireland. Celebrities must instead make use of alternative legal doctrines when seeking to protect their image in those countries.
“Those who wish to do business with a company that does not honour its contractual commitments, yet reaps the benefits of the agreements giving rise to those commitments, would find a perfect business partner in GHD,” Perry’s lawyer said in their new legal papers.
Two weeks ago, the Jamella Group Limited had filed a suit against Perry in federal court in California stating that in 2011, they agreed to pay Perry $4.5 million to appear in their adverts and be a celebrity spokeswoman for the brand for two years. Perry claims that there was an oral agreement extending the contract for another two and a half years and another $6.5 million. Jamelle Group Limited’s suit was filed to ward off Perry’s suit against them (sorry, didn’t work!) and to protect both parties from “claims of oral deals that plague the entertainment industry.”
While it beggars belief that anyone would rely on an oral contract for a $6.5 million deal and not get it down in writing, the question remains as to why GHD continue to have images of Perry on its website if there is no contract, oral or otherwise…