Pop superstar Rihanna today emerged victorious in court, after suing clothing giant Topshop over a T-shirt they sold with her face on it in a case that could be worth $5million.
The singer claimed the ‘unendorsed’ white T-shirt branded with a photograph of her in a bra top may have damaged her image because fans could have thought it was genuine merchandise. The Barbadian star, who sued under her real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, claimed she is entitled to damages from Arcadia Group Brands Ltd, which operates Topshop, over the unauthorised use of her picture.
Her lawyers told the High Court in London the fashion chain swindled her fans and that may have damaged her reputation. They said the picture was "very similar" to images used on CD sleeves for one of her albums.
Topshop's lawyers disputed her claim alleging that the 25-year-old singer was making an unjustifiable bid to establish a "free standing image right" over use of her picture in the UK.
However, the Judge handling the case, Mr Justice Birss, ruled that a "substantial number" of buyers were likely to have been deceived into buying the T-shirt because of a "false belief" that it had been approved by the singer. He said it was damaging to her "goodwill" and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the "fashion sphere".
Mr Justice Birss thereafter ruled in her favour today after a hearing in London.
The photograph used by Topshop had been taken during filming of a music video in Northern Ireland in 2011.