"Fiji Water Girl" Is Now Suing Fiji Water
The Canadian model alleges the company's new ad campaign is using her likeness without her permission
Published Feb 01, 2019While Canadian model Kelleth Cuthbert may have only recently rose to fame as "Fiji Water Girl" at the Golden Globes, she is now suing the company that made her famous.
Cuthbert (whose real name is Kelly Steinbach) filed a lawsuit in civil court in the U.S. on Thursday (January 31), alleging Fiji Water created a "worldwide cardboard cutout marketing campaign" based on the unauthorized use of her "photograph, likeness, and identity."
According to her complaint, Fiji initially attempted to negotiate an agreement through her agent, but no agreement was ever reached. However, cardboard cutouts of the model soon appeared in grocery stores, sparking the lawsuit.
You can see one such display above.
Fiji Water has responded to the lawsuit, calling it "frivolous" and "entirely without merit."
"After the Golden Globes social media moment, we negotiated a generous agreement with Ms. Cuthbert that she blatantly violated," a statement from Fiji Water reads [via CBS MoneyWatch]. "We are confident that we will prevail in court. Throughout our history, we have had a sterling reputation working with talent."
Her legal team has estimated that the model generated more than $12 million USD worth of brand exposure from her work on the red carpet at the 76th Golden Globe Awards last month.
As previously reported, you may recognize the model from once starring in an Arkells video.