Cardi B’s highly anticipated showdown with the man claiming she stole his distinct back tattoo has been postponed.
The trial, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, was to begin on August 3. However, on Friday, Judge Cormac J. Carney moved the trial to October as Cardi’s original attorney will be unavailable due to a “serious illness.” She’ll now have a week to find a new attorney and begin preparing for the trial.
The case revolves around a 2017 lawsuit filed by California resident Kevin Brophy, who claims Cardi used his likeness without permission on the cover of Gangsta B*tch Music, Vol. 1; he claims that this violated his privacy and “humiliated” him among family and friends. The cover depicts Cardi sitting with her legs spread as a tattooed man kneeling in front of her appears to be engaged in oral sex.
While the original model consented to use his image on the cover, the tattoos on his back were photoshopped in by the graphic designer hired to create the cover. Brophy’s tattoos appeared on a Google search and were superimposed on the model. Brophy’s lawyer said that he “has had to face uncomfortable comments, questions, and ridicule, from community members and family” and that “his work and professional life have been unalterably damaged by his having to explain this unconsented-to, offensive, and malicious use of his image.”
Cardi’s lawyers, however, contended that there’s no real way Brophy’s tattoos would be recognizable, that the digital manipulation on the cover makes it protected by the First Amendment, and that Brophy is just trying to cash in. Meanwhile, Cardi herself has been putting the finishing touches on a new album featuring the single “Hot Sh*t.”