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Why Is the Fiji Water Girl Now Suing the Brand That Made Her Internet Famous?
It would appear that the Fiji Water model, Kelleth Cuthbert, wants a piece of the $12 million pie.
This winter's most unlikely pop-culture sensation might just be the "Fiji Water Girl." When an ambassador for the water brand photobombed pretty much everyone on the red carpet at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards, the internet had a field day. And before long, cut-outs of the young girl in a blue dress — whose name is Kelleth Cuthbert — started appearing in stores. But far from enjoying her sudden internet fame, it seems that Cuthbert has actually become litigious over it.
TMZ reports that Cuthbert claims that the brand launched its cardboard cut-out campaign without her permission. So according to her, shoppers at grocery stores across Los Angeles are snapping selfies with an unauthorized image.
The model further claims that the water brand tried to convince her to sign away her rights to the image of herself holding a tray at the awards show, but that she never actually had.
And in the end, it's mainly about that $12 million that Cuthbert claims the brand has racked up in exposure because of her. Doesn't she deserve her fair share of the earnings?
Not so fast. A rep for Fiji Water responded to TMZ, saying: "This lawsuit is frivolous and entirely without merit. After the Golden Globes social media moment, we negotiated a generous agreement with Ms. Cuthbert that she blatantly violated. We are confident that we will prevail in court. Throughout our history, we have had a sterling reputation working with talent."