Pop star Rihanna‘s lurid and brightly colored music video “S&M” was “directly derived” from pictures taken by prominent U.S. fashion photographer David LaChapelle, he said in a lawsuit made public on Monday.
LaChapelle, who has shot celebrities for magazines such as Rolling Stone, GQ and Vanity Fair, said “the music video is directly derived from and substantially similar to the LaChapelle works.”
Rihanna, 22, has sold over 25 million albums worldwide and dominated music charts in the U.S. with singles such as “Umbrella” and “What’s My Name.” The single “S&M”, however, has fizzled on the charts, and the video has been banned in some countries for its sexual content.
In the suit, LaChapelle said Rihanna had appropriated eight of his images into the video, such as a shot where she is shown in profile against a blue background with a piece of candy on her tongue.
LaChapelle said Rihanna’s video copied the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting” of his work.
He is suing for unspecified damages. A spokeswoman for Rihanna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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