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Man who lost lawsuit against Cardi B over album cover agrees to pay her attorney’s fees


Cardi B at the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit Gala celebrating the opening of “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty Exhibition” held on May 1, 2023, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. (Photo by: DPRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 5/1/23.)

The man who sued rap superstar Cardi B over her use of an image of his back tattoo on an album cover has agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees after losing his lawsuit.

Kevin Brophy sued Cardi B — real name Belcalis Almanzar — for $5 million in 2017, alleging that she had improperly used an image of his tattooed back on the cover of her album “Gangsta B—- Music, Vol. 1.” The cover of that album featured a photoshopped image of Brophy’s distinctive tattoo, identifiable from its depiction of a tiger and a serpent, onto the back of a man who appears to be performing oral sex on the rapper as she drinks a bottle of beer.

In October, a California jury ruled in Cardi B’s favor, finding that Brophy hadn’t proved any of his claims of misappropriation or false light.

Now, Brophy has agreed to pay Cardi B’s attorney’s fees for the lawsuit and drop his case completely.

“The parties now have reached an agreement avoiding the necessity of Defendants’ motion for attorney’s fees and application to tax costs and Plaintiff’s New Trial Motion,” says the stipulation, filed Monday. Under that agreement, Brophy will pay $350,000 in attorney’s fees and withdraw his motion for a new trial.

The parties also agreed to waive appeal rights and any other post-judgment motions, other than to enforce the agreement.

Brophy had filed a motion for a new trial in January after asking the judge to reject the jury’s verdict. That motion was set to be heard in July.

The conciliatory move is perhaps not entirely surprising, considering the courtroom exchange Cardi B and Brophy had after the jury issued its verdict.

“At the end of the day, I do respect you as an artist,” Brophy said to Cardi B, shaking her hand before leaving the courtroom that day.

“Maybe you get to know me?” Cardi asked him in reply. She also assured him, “It’s OK. It’s OK.”

Brophy told Cardi they have mutual friends; she asked him who, and he gave a couple of names.

“It’s a small circle. Life’s small,” Cardi said at the time.

Lawyers for Brophy declined to comment. Representatives for Cardi B did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s request for comment.

Meghann Cuniff contributed to this report.

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