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Rihanna Sues Topshop for $5 Million


Rihanna Tee via; Rihanna image via Will Alexander/WENN

Rihanna has reportedly filed a $5 million lawsuit against British clothing retailer Topshop, for selling a T-shirt printed with a giant photograph of her face (above, left).

According to a Page Six source, the pop star has already spent over $1 million and eight months trying to negotiate with the British retailer's holding company, Arcadia Group (which also owns other high street shops like Miss Selfridge and Wallis), but the company has refused to pull the garment or pay licensing fees — though they did extend the artist an offer of $5,000 which, coming from a multinational corporation, is the equivalent of a very obscene gesture. 

The US has a famous "right of publicity" which protects public figures from seeing their image used for promotional purposes without permission, the UK has no real equivalent protection. Page Six's source claims that Rihanna is pursuing the case on principle, hoping to make an example of the fast fashion retailers. According to Forbes' estimate, the performing artist had earned $53 million as of May last year, so obviously she's not going to court for want of a sandwich, but it's worth noting that Topshop is a direct competitor of River Island, the British clothing brand which just launched their second capsule collection with Rihanna.