NEW YORK – Tyson Beckford (search) has sued companies owned by Sean "Diddy" Combs (search), saying his image and likeness were used without his permission to promote a clothing line after his contract expired.
In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Beckford said he agreed in May 2004 to be paid $1.2 million to endorse Combs' Sean John (search) brand apparel line and accessories in advertising and promotional campaigns.
According to the lawsuit, Beckford was paid $600,000 but Combs reneged on the rest of the payment, even as his company continued to use Beckford's image in its ad campaigns. The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages.
Beckford's representatives were unable to persuade the company to complete its payment despite several demands for the money, including a June 7 conversation with Combs, Sean John Clothing Inc.'s chief executive officer, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit, filed Aug. 12, said the continued use of Beckford's image was an attempt to deceive, defraud and confuse the public and constitutes false advertising.
Besides the clothing company, the lawsuit also names as defendants Christian Casey LLC and Bad Boy Entertainment Inc (search).
A lawyer for the companies, Kenneth Mieselas, did not immediately return a telephone message for comment Wednesday.
Beckford has appeared in the films "Biker Boyz" and "Into the Blue."