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Rihanna Files Lawsuit Against Topshop over T-shirt with Her Image

Image courtesy of Island Def Jam (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Island Def Jam (via ABC News Radio)

Rihanna will not tolerate anyone using her image without her permission.

According to BBC News , the singer has filed a five-million-dollar lawsuit against Arcadia Group Brands Ltd., which owns the Topshop fashion chain, after the popular British retailer used her likeness on a T-shirt.

The image is actually a photograph that was taken by a freelance photographer during the filming of Rihanna's "We Found Love" video in Northern Ireland in 2011.  Last year, an unknown quantity of the shirts were offered for sale under the name "Rihanna Tank." Upon learning of the gear, Ri Ri pressured the company to change the name to the "Headscarf Girl Tank," and then to "Icon Tank."

Despite the name change, the singer’s lawyers are seeking damages and accuse Topshop of trying to pass off the T-shirt as authorized by Rihanna, saying it may have fooled fans and damaged Rihanna's reputation.  However, the fashion company's attorneys claim Rihanna's lawsuit is based on a false assumption that "only a celebrity or her successors may ever market, or license the marketing, of her own character." Topshop also states the suit is an unjustifiable bid to establish a "free-standing image right" to the use of her image in the U.K.

A hearing was held, without Rihanna present, on Friday inside London’s High Court.  A decision is expected to be announced next week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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