A California judge has upheld Cardi B’s victory in a recent trial in which the jury found her not liable for showing part of plaintiff Kevin Brophy’s back tattoo on the cover of her 2016 mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, Rolling reports Stone.
Brophy, a model, sued Cardi in 2017 for $5 million, alleging that the cover of the mixtape — which depicts a man who appears to be performing oral sex on the rapper — misused his resemblance to a picture of his tattoo and that he suffered “distress.” “. and humiliation” because of it. Brophy asked the court to set aside the Oct. 21, 2022 verdict that found Cardi not liable.
U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled Wednesday that Brophy’s request to vacate that judgment was late and unfounded, prompting him to pay Cardi’s legal fees. “The jury had ample basis for their verdict,” his statement said. “For example, the jury could reasonably have concluded that the model’s back tattoo on the mixtape cover in question in that suit was not sufficiently identifiable as Brophy to constitute an abusive appropriation of his likeness or a misrepresentation of it. Since the model’s face is not visible, identification by face is not possible.”
Cardi had agreed that the image of the tattoo had been superimposed on the image; The man on the mixtape cover is also black while Brophy is white. Judge Carney’s testimony continued, “Most importantly, Brophy’s tattoo played a minor role in a larger visual commentary on sex politics. Brophy’s tattoo was just a tattoo on the model’s back, which itself was just part of a suggestive depiction of a man with his head between Cardi B’s legs while she sat in the back seat of a vehicle sipping an alcoholic beverage.”
The judge added, “The purpose, Cardi B testified, was to show her control and reverse traditional gender roles. It’s hard to see how the economic value of the cover was even derived from Brophy’s tattoo. Despite all the evidence to the contrary presented by Brophy, the jury was justified in finding that the use of the tattoo was transformative.”
This isn’t the only legal drama Cardi has been involved in recently: In September, she pleaded guilty to two counts of assault for an August 2018 incident at a Queens strip club. As for her music, she recently teamed up with GloRilla for the single “Tomorrow 2” and offered a remix of Rosalía’s “DESPECHÁ”.