A lawyer representing Gigi Hadid wants the lawsuit a paparazzi photo agency filed against her for posting an image of herself on Instagram dismissed.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the attorney, John Quinn, called the lawsuit “meritless” and filed a pre-motion to dismiss letter in response to the photo agency’s complaint.
“It is one thing for paparazzi to exploit Ms. Hadid’s fame and image for their own profit, but it is quite another to bring a meritless copyright case in an effort to shake her down,” Quinn’s statement read.
In January, Hadid was hit with a lawsuit from the New York City–based photo agency Xclusive-Lee, which accused the model of copyright infringement for posting a professional photo of herself without permission.
“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,” Xclusive-Lee said of the now-deleted image.
The firm behind Hadid — Kaplan Hecker & Fink — detailed in a complaint its issues with Xclusive-Lee’s claims.
Kaplan Hecker & Fink said the photo agency wasn’t the “author” of the photograph in question, which showed Hadid looking straight to camera wearing a denim outfit and silver high heels, saying, “Xclusive does not allege that it owned or had an exclusive license for the photograph at the time of the alleged infringement.”
Hadid’s attorney argued the supermodel simply reposting an image of herself “was lawful and appropriate” under fair use, calling it “an implied license, and therefore not actionable.”
“In short, this lawsuit appears to be nothing more than an effort to extract money from Ms. Hadid,” the supermodel’s attorney said, “presumably based on a calculation that, even in a meritless case like this, the anticipated costs of litigation would cause Ms. Hadid to pay out a relatively modest settlement.”
Read the complete complaint below: