The moment ‘Rapper Cardi B Wins Jury At California Trial In Suit Over Tattoo On Mixtape Cover’ After spending nearly 90 minutes deliberating, a federal jury on Friday found in favor of Cardi B in a case accusing her of inappropriately utilizing a man’s tattoo on the cover of her 2016 mixtape “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1.”
Rapper Cardi B Wins Jury At California Trial In Suit Over Tattoo On Mixtape Cover
The jury concluded Kevin Michael “Mike” Brophy hadn’t proven his claims that Cardi misappropriated Brophy’s likeness on the cover, nor had he proven that her former management company KSR Group LLC or her cosmetics company Washpoppin’ did. They also concluded that Brophy didn’t prove Cardi or the companies portrayed Brophy in a false light.
Brophy sued the superstar rapper for $5 million in 2017 after her team ignored a cease-and-desist letter from his lawyers about the mixtape cover and its use of Brophy’s distinct back tattoo.
Copyright Infringement- Cardi B Wins Jury At California Trial
The trial opened Tuesday in the Central District of California’s Santa Ana courthouse, with Cardi drawing a crowd of fans to the courthouse that greeted her as she exited today, beaming with her security guard and lawyers.
Before she left the courtroom, Brophy shook her hand and told her, “At the end of the day, I do respect you as an artist.”
“Maybe you get to know me?” Cardi asked him.
Brophy told Cardi they have mutual friends, and “it’s a small circle. Life’s small.”
“If I didn’t stand up and fight I would have never known,” Brophy said. He added, “This is so far out of my wheelhouse. I didn’t know which way to turn. ‘Oh, she’s after me particularly.’ I just didn’t know where to turn.”
The jury forewoman also spoke with Cardi in the courtroom after the verdict. The women agreed they’d never forget each other.
A married father of two, Brophy lives in Costa Mesa, California, and works for a surfing lifestyle company. His tattoo was inked by the renowned tattooist Tim Hendricks, who first alerted him to the fact that a portion of his back piece was featured on the “Gangsta Bitch Music, Vol. 1” cover.
His lawyers, Barry Cappello and Larry Conlan, presented it to jurors as a privacy issue. Conlan said in his closing argument Friday morning.
“His likeness is being misappropriated without his consent, over his objection, and in a way that is grossly offensive to him and that goes against everything he stands for,” Conlan said.
Cardi’s lawyer Peter Anderson gave the closing for her side. He said that using parts of Brophy’s tattoo in a way that transforms them into another piece of art is protected by the First Amendment, and he questioned how Brophy has been harmed, saying his lawyers have been speaking in hyperbole by saying Cardi has ruined his life for five years.
“Calling it hyperbole does not do that justice,” Anderson told the jury.
No one has testified that Brophy “is readily identifiable by those few remaining elements.”
“If no one recognizes him from the artwork, then his illness cannot have been appropriated,” Anderson said.
Anderson displayed closeups of Brophy’s tattoo and Cardi’s mixtape cover. "You really can’t make out anything in the artwork" and if jurors can see the woman "your eyesight is better than mine," Anderson said. pic.twitter.com/peeeLHOXxp— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) October 21, 2022