The ‘Diamonds’ singer takes legal action against the U.K. fashion chain after the store sells T-shirts bearing her image without her consent
Rihanna is suing U.K. fashion chain Topshop for $5 million. According to NY Post’s Page Six, the Barbadian singer filed a lawsuit against the giant British retailer for selling T-shirts bearing her image without her permission. A source revealed that Rihanna’s team tried to negotiate with Topshop owners for eight months over the rights to the image without success.
The source told the site that Rihanna’s team “asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image.” However, the fashion giant owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green told the 25-year-old singer that it would continue selling the T-shirts. “[Topshop’s owners] buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, U.K. law does not protect the artist,” the source said.
“What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, ‘Go to hell. We don’t care; we are going to continue selling you.’ Topshop is now in the United States. They set up in Manhattan and Nordstrom, but they know better than to do this in the U.S. because they would get in trouble,” the source continued.
“Even though the U.K. laws don’t protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1 million in litigation at this point. She says it’s the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong,” the source added.
Rihanna has reportedly hired international lawyer Reed Smith to file the suit in London. Rihanna and Topshop haven’t commented on the case yet, but a Topshop insider said that the issue was “related to a T-shirt provided to Topshop by a third-party supplier.”