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Rihanna Sued By Photographer David LaChapelle

Artist claims that her new video 'S&M' directly mimics images from his work

February 15, 2011 9:55 AM ET
Rihanna Sued By Photographer David LaChapelle

Celebrity photographer and filmmaker David LaChapelle has filed a lawsuit against Rihanna, her label Def Jam/UMG Recordings and Black Dog Films, claiming that eight images from her video for "S&M" were "directly derived" from his body of work. He is suing for unspecified damages.

Photos: Rihanna's Best Looks

According to LaChapelle, the "S&M" video mimics the "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, setting, decors, wardrobe and lighting" of specific photographs he has produced over the course of his career. The photographer also alleges that the clip's director Melina Matsoukas was instructed to create a "LaChapelle-esque music video" and that prints of his photographs were used in creating storyboards for the production. LaChapelle says that another well-known video director was approached to make the video under the same instructions, but declined the offer.

Photos: Rihanna, On the Road and Behind the Scenes

LaChapelle has worked with Rihanna and Def Jam in the past, notably on a photo shoot with the singer back in the summer of 2007.

Fashion Photog Sues Rihanna & Def Jam [Courthouse News]

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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