A California man suing Cardi B for $5 million over the use of his likeness and elaborate back tattoo in racy mixtape cover art is challenging the singer’s right to a trial delay after she recently traveled to Paris for Fashion Week.
In a new court filing obtained by Rolling Stone, plaintiff Kevin Brophy says Cardi’s trip to the French capital and her appearance at multiple “highly public events” last week show she was “misleading” the court when she claimed last month she needed a postponement of their previously scheduled October 26th trial date to avoid risky travel and bond with her newborn son.
Brophy now claims the court’s decision to push their trial to February 1st should no longer stand, and he’s asking for a date in early December to put their dispute in front of a jury.
Cardi, whose legal name is Belcalis Almánzar, gave birth to her infant son on September 4th and argued in a sworn statement last month that preparing for and attending a full-blown trial this fall could be medically treacherous and interfere with her need to bond with her new baby.
“With all respect, for medical reasons, I do not feel it will be appropriate, fair, or reasonable for me to be required to travel from the East Coast to Southern California in mid- to late-October. It will be especially important for me to be with my newborn infant over the next two months,” she told the court.
“As I am and will be in the immediate post-natal period and nursing my newborn child, it would be extremely difficult and burdensome for me to have to be present for and participate in pretrial preparation,” she said. “The sheer burden of traveling across the country with my family — especially my infant children — under these circumstances, would be substantial and unreasonable, and should be avoided.”
She also mentioned the need to protect her family, including her young daughter, amid a pandemic.
She said spending “extended periods” in public places such as the courthouse, airports, or a hotel presented risks she considered “unreasonably great.”
In his new filing, Brophy argues he has waited long enough and deserves his day in court.
He included photos and links showing Cardi on a red carpet in Paris and walking hand-in-hand with her rapper husband Offset near the Champs-Élysées.
Attempts to reach Cardi’s lawyer on the case were not immediately successful Thursday.
In his underlying lawsuit, Brophy claim’s the use of his likeness on the cover art for Cardi’s Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1 has caused him great “distress and humiliation.”
The cover shows a man with Brophy’s highly distinctive back tattoos between the singer’s legs, purportedly performing oral sex as she drinks a beer and “stares lustfully into the camera,” according to the lawsuit.
The paperwork includes a photo of Brophy’s real-life back tattoo depicting the same tiger battling a snake and other interrelated tattoos that appear on the cover art.
“Plaintiff is a family man with minor children. He and his family reside near Los Angeles where he works professionally for a surfing and lifestyle company,” his lawsuit states.
He says after he learned of the “egregious” misappropriation of his likeness, he was faced with “uncomfortable comments, questions, and ridicule from community members and family.”
“His family dynamic has been adversely affected, and his work and professional life have been unalterably damaged by his having to explain this unconsented-to, offensive, and malicious use of his image,” his lawsuit states.
A judge has yet to rule on his request for a new trial date.