David LaChapelle Sues Rihanna For Stealing His Style

Posted by David Ozanich — 16 Feb 2011

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David LaChapelle is not a happy camper! The photographer, famous for his vibrant, candy-colored tableaus, is suing the singer Rihanna over the music video for her song S&M. He says the imagery in the video directly stole from eight of his photographs. From Yahoo News:

In one of LaChapelle's photos, a woman lays on a gurney and is attended to by a staff of clowns. By comparison, the Melina Matsoukas-directed video features the Barbados native resting on a desk, surrounded by clowns that happen to be reporters.


Another LaChapelle photo features a group of women with poufy red hair, romping around a room decorated with bright pink and white striped wallpaper and matching furniture. In a scene in Rihanna's video, she's also wearing big red hair and playing around with lady friends in room with hot pink and white striped wallpaper, and black and yellow pictures on the wall.

Each image uses a similar forced and distorted camera perspective. According to LaChapelle, the "S&M" video duplicated the "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe, and lighting" of his images.

LaChapelle, who has directed music videos for Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani among others, let his feelings be known in a tweet that read "The next time you make a David LaChapelle music video you should probably hire David LaChapelle." It has since been removed but why say with words what you can say with a lawsuit? The party boy photographer is seeking unspecified damages.

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Via petapixel and OMG blog.

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