'My Michelangelo was stolen': California man sues Cardi B for using 'his tattoo' on racy mixtape cover

'My Michelangelo was stolen': California man sues Cardi B for using 'his tattoo' on racy mixtape cover
Cardi B is sued by a California man for using his tattoo on the cover of her mixtape (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA: Cardi B is being sued by a California man who claims she used his tattoo on the cover of her mixtape 'Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1'. He told the jury on Tuesday that he's disturbed that something he takes great pride in has been attached to something that goes against everything he stands for.

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Kevin Michael Brophy is suing the Grammy-winning singer in federal court in Southern California for $5 million copyright infringement. According to Brophy's attorneys, the 2016 piece of art caused him pain and interrupted his life.

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“It felt like my Michelangelo was stolen off a wall and literally ripped off, robbed, and put where ever these people wanted to put it,” Brophy testified.

According to Brophy's attorney A Barry Cappello, the male model used for the mixtape cover's back tattoo, which has been featured in tattoo magazines, was added using photo-editing software. The mixtape cover image shows a tattooed man from behind with his head wedged between the rapper's knees. But the man's face is hidden.

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According to the defense pleadings, the model who posed for the pictures was Black whereas Brophy is White. So Brophy and the mixtape image are unrelated, according to Cardi B's attorney Peter Anderson. He said that in contrast to Brophy, the model did not have any tattoos on his neck.

“Brophy’s face wasn’t on the mixtape,” Anderson said during his opening statement. “She was already popular. It has nothing to do with Brophy.”

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Brophy refuted this claim in court, saying that everyone who knows him thought he was on the mixtape cover. He declared that he would never approve of the obscene picture.

Cardi B is disputing the accusations and said an artist utilized only a "small percentage" of the tattoos without her approval. Cardi B is scheduled to testify during the trial. She had previously claimed that the cover art, which was made by Timm Gooden, was a transformative fair use of Brophy's likeness.

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Brophy is a surfer, married and father of four children. He lives in Huntington Beach and works as a marketing manager for a company that promotes surfing lifestyles. During his testimony on Tuesday, he expressed concern that his son and daughter might eventually be shown the cover by their friends.

“This was a long journey to get this tattoo. It took a lot of commitment,” Brophy said. “To see it in this light was a complete slap in the face and a complete disrespect to me and my family.”

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Brophy had never heard of the rapper, whose legal name is Belcalis Almanzar, until friends pointed out that his intricate tattoo graced the cover of the 2016 mixtape. It features Cardi drinking Corona beer while a man with a tattoo similar to Brophy's performs oral sex on her while wearing the same tiger and serpent tattoo. Brophy described the scene as “raunchy” and “disgusting.”

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Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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