A man who unsuccessfully sued Cardi B after his giant back tattoo was unwittingly photoshopped into one of her album covers has agreed to repay a whopping $350,000 in legal bills that the superstar spent defeating his lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which Cardi ultimately won, was related to the cover of her 2016 mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, in which body art model Kevin Brophy Jr. claimed Cardi used his back tattoo and likeness without his permission.
Brophy had originally sued Cardi for $5 million, but the jury ultimately sided with the Bronx rap star. Brophy then filed to overturn the verdict, but on December 28, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that the request came too late and lacked merit.
Brophy then filed for a new trial according to docs obtained by Billboard, and said he wanted another chance to convince a jury that Cardi B “humiliated” him with the cover, claiming Cardi (real name Belcalis Almánzar) committed “misconduct” during her time on the witness stand after going back and forth with Brophy’s legal representation A. Barry Cappello.
“Almanzar repeatedly engaged in theatrics, refused to answer basic questions, impermissibly disclosed privileged and confidential settlement communications, and generally acted with total disregard and disrespect for the jury’s time and formal nature of court proceedings,” Brophy’s lawyers claimed in their formal request.
However, District Judge Cormac J. Carney stood firm and demanded Brophy begin paying Cardi’s legal fees despite this filing. On Monday, Brophy’s attorneys told the judge not only would the “WAP” rapper’s legal fees be reimbursed, but he’d be voluntarily ending his efforts to push for a new trial. This likely means Cardi’s legal counsel was in the process of formally filing a demand for repayment.
“The parties now have reached an agreement avoiding the necessity of defendants’ motion for attorney’s fees and application to tax costs,” the two sides wrote in Monday’s filing, according to Billboard.
While neither side commented on the decision, the agreement means that Brophy will “waive and irrevocably relinquish” any chance to challenge the verdict on appeal. In return, Cardi’s attorneys will similarly waive their right to file a motion formally seeking an award of attorneys’ fees.
The aforementioned artwork depicts Cardi sitting in the back of a limousine with a male model kneeling in front of her, appearing to perform oral sex on the would-be superstar.
“It felt like my Michelangelo was stolen off the wall and just literally ripped off and robbed and just put wherever these people wanted to put it,” Brophy said in his testimony last October. “It looks like I’m giving oral sex to somebody that’s not my wife, somebody that’s not my partner, and an image that I never signed off on, ever.”
He continued: “Being a father of two and a devoted husband and a man of faith as well, this goes against everything that I stand for, and I would never ever sign off on something like this.”