After making Twitter headlines at the Golden Globes with her photo bombing appearance at the back of every star’s photo on the red carpet, Kelly Steibach, popularly known as ‘Fiji Water Girl’, is suing the company for allegedly creating a marketing campaign around her viral Golden Globes moment images without her permission.
In the lawsuit document, Steibach reports that Fiji Water forced her into signing and recording a video, which shows she sold her full right over the ‘Fiji Water Girl’ moniker and also agrees to becoming a Fiji Water ambassador. Something the Twitter model recalls, she did under pressure and as such herself and her legal team do not recognize it as valid. However, Fiji Water went ahead to capitalize on the images by making them into cardboard cutouts, spreading them all over at advantageous spots.
Attorney to Steibach, Kimberly Buffington, disclosed in the filed complaint, “The fake documents Steinbach signed in the potential future promotional video was not an agreement. The fake document was not signed by Fiji Water and was later destroyed by Steinbach.”
A spokesperson from the camp of Fiji Water has also issued a statement contrary to the lawsuit denying all allegations as false and untrue. It reads, “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.”
Steinbach now requests that the company stops using her images designed into cardboard cutouts and pay her for monetary damages. Steinbach also claims that the unauthorized use of her images has damaged her peace, happiness, feelings, goodwill, professional standing and future publicity value.