This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
In the most 2019 twist to the most 2019 story so far, the Fiji Water Girl, who stole our attention (and hearts) when she photobombed every celebrity on the red carpet of the Golden Globes, is now suing Fiji Water.
Fiji Water Girl—who is also a model known as Kelly Steinbach and Kelleth Cuthbert—says that the company used her likeness without her permission in marketing campaigns following last month’s awards. FWG, as we shall always remember her, became a surprise viral sensation for her red carpet antics at the Golden Globes. She says that the water company capitalised on that virality by turning her into cardboard cut-outs to be featured in stores selling Fiji.
Despite the fact that some of those cut-outs arrived in stores the very next day after the awards ceremony (they work fast!), FWG says she never gave her consent to the campaign in writing. The Blast reports that the model is accusing Fiji of forcing her into signing fake consent forms. “They pressured Steinbach into video recording a fake signing of a fake document to simulate Steinbach signing on as a Fiji Water ambassador.”
Now, she’s coming for some reparations. Kelly/Kelleth is suing for a percentage of the profits made off her image, as well as monetary damage and for the company to end the campaign. In a statement, the water brand denounced the lawsuit as “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.”
The company produces disposable water bottles while the oceans are polluted with plastic waste, but I mean go off I guess.