Legal and Management

Selena Gomez Sues Video Game Companies Over Her Likeness in 'Clothes Forever' App

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez poses at the photo call for the film 'The Dead Don't Die' at the 72nd international film festival on May 15, 2019 in Cannes, France.

Lawyers for Selena Gomez have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the makers of the online game "Clothes Forever - Styling Game," alleging that one of the characters in very clearly based on the star and that she never agreed to let Chinese gamemaker Gunagzhou Feidong Software Technology Co. (as well as Delaware-based Forgame US Corp. and the U.K.'s Mutantbox Interactive Ltd.) use her image in the app available in Apple's App Store.

"Selena Gomez's career as a model, actress, musician, and entrepreneur has made Selena a household name," reads a statement to Billboard from Gomez's attorney, Alex Weingarten of law firm Venable LLP, which shared a copy of the suit. "Forgame, Mutanbox and these other fly-by-night videogame developers have attempted to profit off of Selena's signature look by misappropriating her likeness and inviting players to 'style' Selena without her consent. Selena Gomez is a style icon. This is an egregious violation of Selena's rights, which we will litigate vigorously to vindicate."

Billboard has reached out to Gunagzhou Feidong and Mutantbox Interactive Ltd. for comment.

The suit contains two claims -- violation of and conspiracy to violate statutory right of publicity and violation of and conspiracy to violate common law right of publicity -- in asserting that Gomez was surprised to discover that her image and likeness were used by the defendants in their "bug-riddled mobile game 'Clothes Forever,' which is currently rated a measly 3.5 stars out of 5 by users on the Apple App Store website."

It also alleges that the defendants never "requested, consulted or informed Gomez regarding the use of any of her publicity rights in connection with the Game," noting that Gomez would not have consented even if asked, especially since the game "apparently relies on the unsavory practice of luring its users to make in-game purchases in amounts as much as $99.99 to fund imaginary spending in the Game and unlock features."

Promotional materials for the game advertises that users can "interact with the most beautiful models and celebrities ... the likes of Kardashian, Gigi, Beyonce, Taylor, and more will be dropping by and asking for YOUR fashion advise!" The suit contains a screenshot image used to promote the game on the Apple App Store, and claims it "blatantly rip off a popular image" of the singer taken from the magazine Flare, in which she is seen wearing a white top and body-hugging leather skirt, with her hand on her face.

The suit is seeking to permanently block the game makers from suing Gomez's image, as well as actual, compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages to be determined at trial.