Supermodel Gigi Hadid was named the Defendant in another copyright lawsuit earlier this September. The lawsuit revolves around a June 2018 photo posted on her Instagram story.
Robert O’Neil, a New-York based photographer, sued Hadid for copyright infringement in the Southern District of New York. Court documents state that the action “Arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph of English singer and songwriter Zayn Malik, owned and registered by O’Neil.”
Hadid posted a photo (taken by O’Neil) of her ex-boyfriend, Zayn Malik, walking down a street of New York City on her Instagram story. The gesture seemed innocent – however, Hadid did not have O’Neil’s permission to post the photo. O’Neil alleges that Hadid’s posting of the photo on her Instagram story infringed on his copyright because Hadid is not “Licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publicly display, distribute, and/or use the photograph.”
In terms of damages, O’Neil is seeking either: (i) up to $150,000.00 in statutory damages, or (ii) “Actual damages and Defendant’s profit, gains or advantages of any kind attributable to Defendant’s infringement of Plaintiff’s Photograph.” Additionally, O’Neil wants Hadid to “declare” that she infringed on his copyright when she posted his photo on her Instagram story.
Unfortunately for Hadid, this is not the first time she has been faced with a lawsuit based on her Instagram account. Hadid’s first encounter was in September 2017, when she was sued for a July 12, 2016, Instagram post of a paparazzi-taken photo of herself. And in January 2019, Hadid was sued by yet another photographer for the same reason, regarding an Instagram post from October 11, 2018.
Hadid and her legal team have not yet commented on this current lawsuit.