Rihanna Just Won a Legal Battle With Topshop Over a T-Shirt Showing Her Face

The case revolves around a T-shirt sold in 2012 that features a still from the singer's "We Found Love" video.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Rihanna has finally won her long legal battle against Topshop for selling an unauthorized T-shirt with her photo on it. The singer and recently-appointed Puma Creative Director sued the British fashion giant for a reported $5 million after her image was used on the sleeveless tank.

The legal intricacies surrounding the case are a bit strange, as celebrities in the UK actually have no legal right to control how their images are used. The loophole for Rihanna's legal team, however, was that if a product is marketed in a way that could suggest the celebrity endorsed it, it can be considered “passing off,” a legal term for an unauthorized use of an image. This is thought to be the first time ever a celebrity has won a case on such grounds.

The image of Rihanna used on the white tank is a snapshot of her We Found Love video from back in 2011. The judge had ruled that the item was damaging to Rihanna’s “goodwill,” and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the “fashion sphere.” Rih's existing deals with River Island—a direct competitor to Topshop—as well as her gig with Puma definitely seemed to have helped her case here. 

As part of the settlement, Topshop will have to pay all of Rihanna's legal fees as well. Ouch. The lesson here? Don't mess with Rih's empire, y'all.

[via WWD]

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