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Motley Crue's Sixx Sues Over Shoe Ad

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx sued a skateboarding magazine and the Vans shoe company for allegedly using his image in an ad without his permission.

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx sued a skateboarding magazine and the Vans shoe company for allegedly using his image in an ad without his permission. Sixx, whose real name is Franklin Feranna, said in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that the defendants used photographs of him with pro skater Tony Trujillo at a San Francisco ceremony organized by Thrasher magazine and sponsored by Vans.

Sixx said he agreed to present Trujillo with a "Skater of the Year" award at the ceremony on Dec. 7, 2002, because he knew Trujillo was a Motley Crue fan. The musician said he was surprised to see photos taken at the ceremony in an ad for Trujillo's signature Vans shoes. The photo also showed a marquee with the words "Thrasher Magazine's Skater of the Year Tony Trujillo."

The lawsuit said the caption above one of the photos, "Live Fast, Die Young," was "somewhat reminiscent of the title of Motley Crue's first album, 'Too Fast For Love."' It said Sixx had also been informed that Vans and Thrasher products bearing his image were displayed at skate parks.

The lawsuit noted that Sixx has his own clothing line, "N. Sixx by Dragonfly," that seeks out the same youthful consumers targeted by Vans.

Vans attorney Craig Gosselin said the company had not seen the lawsuit, but planned to fight it. "It will be our contention that he gave us permission to use his likeness in our ad," Gosselin said.

Thrasher publisher Ed Riggins said he did not believe the magazine should be named in the lawsuit because no one from Thrasher had asked that the publication's name be included in the ad.

"If somebody takes a photo of Nikki and there's a marquee or a Thrasher banner in the background, it's not like we did it," Riggins said. "I think Nikki's lawyers would probably understand that we didn't do this to him or advocate doing this to him."


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