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Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; App Store
Selena Gomez has filed a lawsuit against the developers and sellers of a mobile fashion game for using her likeness without her consent.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by Business Insider, the companies behind the game "knowingly" used Gomez's image without her consent, and profited off her inclusion in the app.
Gomez is asking for at least $10 million, which includes compensation for "all income, profits or other benefits" the company made by using her likeness.
Selena Gomez is asking for at least $10 million in a lawsuit filed against a gaming company that she alleges profited off her likeness for a mobile fashion game.
Gomez is one of several high-profile celebrities whose character is portrayed in "Clothes Forever - Styling Game," available to download on iPhones and iPads. Users can style and offer fashion advice to models, musicians, and personalities. In the lawsuit, Gomez argues that the developers and sellers behind the app "knowingly" used her face and likeness without her consent.
Gomez is seeking at least $10 million, which represents "all income, profits or other benefits" the companies made on the mobile game by using her likeness. The suit alleges that the gaming companies were able to profit off Gomez's popularity and give the impression they had secured her endorsement — a violation of her "rights of publicity."
"Selena Gomez's career as a model, actress, musician, and entrepreneur has made Selena a household name," Gomez's attorney, Alex Weingarten, said in a statement to Business Insider. "Selena Gomez is a style icon. This is an egregious violation of Selena's rights, which we will litigate vigorously to vindicate."
Gomez's argument hinges on the claim she owns all rights to the use of her name, likeness, and identifying characteristics for commercial purposes. This is an issue that has long been contested when it comes to celebrities and their status as public figures. One such case is a lawsuit filed by Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres in 2019 against companies using fakes quotes from them in ads for anti-aging skincare products.
However, there are other incidents that have been more contested. In 2016, Lindsay Lohan sued the makers behind "Grand Theft Auto V" for using her distinct likeness for an avatar that appeared in marketing material, but the court threw out the case was because Lohan was never referred to by her actual name.
In this case, Gomez's lawyers argue the game exploited the pop star's appearance in the app itself, as well as in its advertising materials. In Apple's App Store, one of the app's screenshots shows Gomez in a pose and outfit that draws an uncanny resemblance to her appearance on the cover of Flare Magazine in November 2015.
Gomez has been a widely recognizable figure since 2007, when she first appeared on Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place." Since then, she's expanded her career to successful stints in singing and producing, while accruing a a net worth of more than $50 million. Gomez is the fifth most followed account on Instagram with 173 million followers, and can attract an estimated $800,000 for a single sponsored post.
Gomez's lawyers say the companies tarnished her reputation by putting her face on a game that's "bug-riddled" and has a "measly" 3.5 stars out of 5 on Apple's App Store, where it's been available since 2017. Although the game is free, the "Clothes Forever" app requires a slew of in-game purchases for unlocking features, which can cost up to $100.
The game also includes avatars bearing resemblances to Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, and Taylor Swift. It appears none of these figures have filed similar lawsuits against these gaming companies.
The lawsuit names a number of gaming companies who develop, sell, and hold the rights to the mobile game, including US-based company Forgame Holdings; MutantBox Interactive Limited, a United Kingdom who owns the game's copyright; Guangzhou Feidong Software Technology, the seller of the game's operation in China; and China-based developers, Guangzhou Feiyin Information Technology Co. and Guangzhou Jieyou Software Co.
You see the full complaint below, which was filed April 14:
Read the original article on Business Insider