The “Fiji Water Girl” is suing Fiji Water

Photo: Stefanie Keenan (Getty Images for FIJI Water)

Does the name Kelleth Cuthbert ring a bell?

If not, does this?

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Cuthbert, a.k.a. “Fiji Water girl,” became a human meme during the red carpet for the 2019 Golden Globes, popping up, smiling, in the background of many otherwise standard celebrity photos. Now she’s suing Fiji Water for “the unauthorized use of [her] photograph, likeness and identity.”

Court documents obtained by E! News reveal that Cuthbert claims that, post-Globes, Fiji used her likeness as part of a marketing campaign without authorization. Per The Guardian:

Cuthbert claims Fiji Water used her image as the key part of a global marketing campaign following the Globes, but that she did not “sign away her rights to ‘Fiji Water Girl’” as the brand allegedly attempted to get her to agree to. Cuthbert goes on to allege that they attempted to pressure her into a signing a “fake document” authorizing the use of her image.

In a statement to E!, the company called the lawsuit “frivolous and entirely without merit,” adding: “After the Golden Globes social media moment, we negotiated a generous agreement with Ms. Cuthbert that she blatantly violated. We are confident that we will prevail in Court. Throughout our history, we have had a sterling reputation working with talent.”

Basically, Cuthbert claims she never said Fiji could do shit like this:

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Or this:

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But they did anyway. It seems a judge will be needed to make these murky waters as clear as the “tropical rain [that] falls on a pristine rain forest... through layers of volcanic rock, slowly gathering the natural minerals and electrolytes that give FIJI Water its soft, smooth taste.”

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.