'Girl From Ipanema' Muse Target Of Lawsuit
She was tall and tan and young and lovely, just as the classic song she inspired says. But does that mean Helo Pinheiro has the right to use "The Girl From Ipanema" to promote herself? Not according tShe was tall and tan and young and lovely, just as the classic song she inspired says. But does that mean Helo Pinheiro has the right to use "The Girl From Ipanema" to promote herself? Not according to the estates of the late Brazilian songwriters Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, who are suing Pinheiro for using the 1962 song.
According to a copy of the lawsuit faxed to The Associated Press yesterday (July 12) by Pinheiro's attorney, it accuses her of "unjustly profiting from the image and the work of the late composers." Attempts to reach representatives of the songwriters' estates were not immediately successful.
The suit, filed May 24 in civil court in Sao Paulo, Brazil, concedes that Pinheiro inspired the famed bossa nova song. However, it says, "she doesn't have the legitimacy to use, at her pleasure, the work and images of Tom Jobim and of Vinicius Moraes as she has been doing." Jobim is known as "Tom" in Brazil.
The suit cites a popular T-shirt featuring a picture of Pinheiro with the song's lyrics written out in the background and her recently opened clothing store in a Sao Paulo mall called "The Girl From Ipanema," as examples of exploitation. "I think that they want compensation for the store's name. The song is theirs, they own the rights and that's okay," Pinheiro said. "But I was the muse behind it. If I hadn't inspired the song it wouldn't have been written."
Then known as Heloisa Eneida, the 54-year-old Pinheiro became famous across Brazil 36 years ago when Jobim and de Moraes were inspired to write the song. "She was a green-eyed girl, blond and dark, a mixture that is so beautiful," Jobim once said. "She was a creature of God."
With its blend of samba and jazz, lilting rhythms, and unusual harmonies, the song helped spark the bossa nova craze of the 1960s. The late tenor saxophonist Stan Getz made "The Girl From Ipanema" famous in 1963-64.
Pinheiro believes that if Jobim and Moraes were still alive, they would not be suing her. Jobim died in 1994, de Moraes in 1980. Pinheiro noted that she was friends with both men and that Jobim even wrote the text that accompanied nude photos of her that Brazilian Playboy ran in 1987 under the title "The Girl From Ipanema."
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