Chanel West Coast — real name Chelsea Chanel Dudley — released “Sharon Stoned” in 2018. The song, as the suit notes, turns Stone’s name into a hook, while the video (released in April) finds Dudley recreating some famous Stone movie scenes, including the Basic Instinct interrogation. The suit alleges that Dudley’s intention from the start — with both the song and video — was to “trade on the fame and publicity rights of Sharon Stone for [her] commercial gain.”
In a statement, Dudley said she was “surprised and disappointed” about the lawsuit and claimed that not only was Stone fully aware of the song, but was briefly set to appear in the music video.
“Sharon pulled out of participating in the music video the day of the shoot after months of conversations, in-person meetings with myself and the director, two dance rehearsals and even had her own ideas that she shared with myself and my team for the collaborative on the video,” Dudley said. “To be frank, the entire production team and myself were surprised when she walked off. Nonetheless, the shoot proceeded. I am an artist who was expressing myself through music by making a song and video about someone whom I greatly admire. I only had the best intentions to create something visually amazing that highlights Sharon Stone as well as myself and for that I have done nothing wrong.”
A representative for Stone did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
The suit contains a detailed breakdown of Stone’s acting and philanthropic work, and argues that the actress “maintains strict control over the manner in which her name, likeness, image, identity and persona are used.”
To that end, the suit calls Dudley “an aspiring rap artist who has desperately sought to garner credibility and stature in the hip-hop community,” and accused her of trying to gain clout “by invoking and trading on the celebrity status and fame of others.” The suit cites as evidence a 2017 BET article summing up reactions to Dudley’s claims that she was as talented as Drake and Kanye West during an appearance on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Hollywood.
The suit alleges that Dudley was trying to do the same with “Sharon Stoned,” noting that the song features the name “Sharon Stone” 33 times and the name “Sharon” 99 times. It also features past quotes from Dudley in which she discusses wanting to “redo some classic, iconic Sharon Stone movie scenes” in the song’s video.
Ultimately, the suit alleges that in using Stone’s name in the song and incorporating her likeness in the video, Dudley not only infringed upon Stone’s identity but used Stone’s name “as a celebrity endorser” without her permission and consent. (The suit also claims that because the video features product placement for Shine rolling papers, it effectively made Stone a “celebrity endorser to promote the sale of cannabis paraphernalia without her permission or consent.”)
The suit claims that the “Sharon Stoned” song and video show a “disregard of Sharon Stone’s right of privacy and publicity, and of her exclusive right to control the use and exploitation of her name, likeness, image, identity and persona.” The suit seeks punitive damages and any profits Dudley may have made from the song and video.