Gigi Hadid Accuses Paparazzi of Attempting to Shake Her Down in Legal Battle

The Blast
Published on:
April 2, 2019
Photo Credit: The Blast

Gigi Hadid is accusing a paparazzi agency of trying to bilk her for money in a lawsuit over an Instagram post.

Hadid is asking a judge to throw out the lawsuit filed against her by Xclusive-Lee Inc. The agency sued her over a photo they took of her that she then posted on her social media.

In her filing, Hadid explains, “It is an unfortunate reality of Ms. Hadid’s day-to-day life that paparazzi make a living by exploiting her image and selling it for profit. This lawsuit takes that practice to a new level: the Complaint seeks substantial monetary damages from Ms. Hadid based on allegations that she found a copy of a photograph of herself online and reposted it to her personal Instagram account, where it remained for a matter of days.”

Hadid claims the agency doesn’t have the copyright of the photograph they are suing her over.

The model says the lawsuit is nothing more than an effort to “extract” money from her, in hopes she would pay a settlement to avoid dealing with it.

Hadid says she made no money off posting the photo of herself and denies any wrongdoing.

The docs note, “It is one thing for paparazzi to take advantage of Ms. Hadid by surveilling her, taking photographs of her every public movement, and selling them for profit. It is quite another to demand damages based on an Instagram post by the very person whose fame the paparazzi sought to exploit in the first place.”

As The Blast first reported, Xclusive-Lee Inc. claims they own the rights to a photo of Gigi taken in October 2018. They allege she took the image and posted it to her Instagram without license or permission (she deleted it a short time later).

They point out she has over 43 million followers and 1.6 million followers commented on the post in question within four days.

The suit claims that Hadid should have known better because she has been sued for this before. The lawsuit states, “Prior to October 12, 2018, Hadid had first-hand knowledge that copying and posting photographs, of herself or other subject matters, to her Instagram or other social media accounts that she did not properly license or otherwise receive permission from the copyright holder constituted copyright infringement.”

The company points to a 2017 lawsuit filed against with almost identical claims but that case settled quickly.

A few days after she posted and deleted the photo in question, Gigi Hadid wrote a lengthy post on Instagram alluding to the lawsuit and lashing out at the paparazzi.

She wrote, “I (& countless others) have stayed inside because I just don’t want my photo taken or to have that attention/suffocation while just trying to live as normally as possible, and for someone to take a situation where I was trying to be open, and sue me for a photo I FOUND ON TWITTER (with no photographer’s name on the image), for a photo he has already been paid for my whatever outlet put it online (!!!), is absurd.”

“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line,” Hadid added. “We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”

Xclusive-Lee Inc. sued demanding an injunction against Hadid from using their work ever again and for all profits she made from using their photo without permission.


Read this at The Blast.

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