The model who went viral after photobombing red carpet photos at the Golden Globes while holding a tray of Fiji Water bottles is reportedly going after the brand for using her newfound fame as a marketing tool without her permission.
Kelleth Cuthbert, whose real name is Kelly Steinbach, has sued Fiji Water Company and The Wonderful Company, claiming they used her viral internet fame to promote their product, the Blast reported.
Cuthbert claims that on Jan. 7, a day after the awards show, Fiji Water “intentionally created cardboard cutouts of Steinbach for use in a cardboard cutout marketing campaign,” according to court documents obtained by the website.
The model alleges that a day after that, the company tried to negotiate a deal with her agent, but the next day discovered Fiji had already placed her cardboard cutout in a Bristol Farms in West Hollywood, capitalizing on Cuthbert’s fame.
Her cardboard cutout was even captured in a paparazzi pic behind John Legend as he left the grocery store.
The lawsuit also argues that Fiji attempted to offer “gifts to entice” Cuthbert to sign her rights away, and even “pressured Steinbach into video recording a fake signing of a fake document to simulate Steinbach signing on as a Fiji Water Ambassador.” Her legal team claims the papers she signed were not an agreement and were later destroyed by Cuthbert.
Cuthbert claims Fiji was aware that they never reached a deal before using her image for profit and wants the company to discontinue its use of the cardboard cutouts and cough up cash for the monetary damages, the site reported.
A rep for FIJI Water told us, “This lawsuit is frivolous and entirely without merit. After the Golden Globes social media moment, we negotiated a generous agreement with Ms. Cuthbert that she blatantly violated. We are confident that we will prevail in Court. Throughout our history, we have had a sterling reputation working with talent.”