Back in 2017, Cardi B was sued by artist Kevin Michael Brophy after his back tattoo was photoshopped into the cover art for Cardi’s 2016 mixtape, Gangsta B**ch Music, Vol. 1. He argued that the image was used “in a misleading, offensive, humiliating, and provocative sexual way to launch her career in music and entertainment.” In October of this year, the “I Like It” rapper won the legal battle after a Santa Ana jury ruled that the cover did not depict him in a negative light.
Since then, the plaintiff doubled down on his stance and filed to overturn the verdict. Yesterday (Dec. 28), U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that the original decision will not be overturned. In addition, Brophy was ordered to begin paying the rapper’s attorney’s fees and costs.
“The untimeliness of Brophy’s Rule 50 is reason enough to deny it. But the motion also wants for substantive merit,” wrote Carney in a ruling obtained by Rolling Stone. “The jury had an ample basis for its verdict. For example, the jury could have reasonably concluded that the back tattoo on the model on the mixtape cover at issue in this suit was not sufficiently identifiable with Brophy to constitute misappropriation of his likeness or depiction in a false light. Because the model’s face is not visible, identification based on facial appearance is impossible.”
“It felt like my Michelangelo was stolen off the wall and just literally ripped off, and robbed, and just put wherever these people wanted to put it,” Brophy said in his October testimony. “It looks like I’m giving oral sex to somebody that’s not my wife, somebody that’s not my partner, and an image that I never signed off on, ever.”
This wasn’t the only legal battle Cardi faced this year, as she won a lawsuit back in January against YouTuber Tasha K for defamation. In regards to music, the Bronx rapper can be heard featured on recent songs like “Tomorrow 2” by GloRilla, “Me Gusta” by Anitta, “Shake It” by Kay Flock, and more.