Retired Mohawk Wrestler Billy Two Rivers Sues Van Morrison over Album Cover
Published Jul 28, 2017Billy Two Rivers, a retired professional wrestler and former chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, is suing Van Morrison over the album artwork for the famed singer's upcoming album.
An image of Two Rivers appears on the cover of Morrison's Roll with the Punches, and the ex-wrestler says it was used without his permission. Among the accusations in the lawsuit filed yesterday (July 27), Two Rivers is suing for violation of his right of publicity.
As CBC reports, he is demanding an undisclosed amount in compensation damages, as well as punitive and exemplary damages and legal fees.
"There are rules for using someone's photo for commercial purposes, and the simple rule is you need consent and they never even asked him," the Canadian wrestler's New York-based lawyer Michael Graif told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Two Rivers' wrestling career began in 1953, and he went on to compete internationally until 1977. He was known for his signature Mohawk hairstyle and traditional First Nations costuming.
Roll with the Punches is due out on September 22 via Universal. The label has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
See the offending photograph of Two Rivers on the album cover pictured above.