Cardi B’s mixtape cover art accuser has demanded a new trial, claiming the previous one he lost was filled with “theatrics.”
The lawsuit, which Cardi ultimately won, was related to the cover of her 2016 mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, in which body art model Kevin Brophy Jr. claimed Cardi used his back tattoo and likeness without his permission.
The aforementioned artwork depicts Cardi sitting in the back of a limousine with a male model kneeling in front of her, appearing to perform oral sex on the would-be superstar.
“It felt like my Michelangelo was stolen off the wall and just literally ripped off and robbed and just put wherever these people wanted to put it,” Brophy said in his October testimony. “It looks like I’m giving oral sex to somebody that’s not my wife, somebody that’s not my partner, and an image that I never signed off on, ever.”
He continued: “Being a father of two and a devoted husband and a man of faith as well, this goes against everything that I stand for, and I would never ever sign off on something like this.”
Brophy had originally sued Cardi for $5million, but the jury ultimately sided with the Bronx rap star. Brophy then filed to overturn the verdict, but on December 28, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that the request came too late and lacked merit.
Brophy requested a new trial on Wednesday (January 25), according to docs obtained by Billboard, and said he wanted another opportunity to convince a jury that Cardi B “humiliated” him with the cover art. He claimed that Cardi (real name Belcalis Almánzar) committed “misconduct” during her time on the witness stand after going back and forth with Brophy’s legal representation A. Barry Cappello.
“Almanzar repeatedly engaged in theatrics, refused to answer basic questions, impermissibly disclosed privileged and confidential settlement communications, and generally acted with total disregard and disrespect for the jury’s time and formal nature of court proceedings,” Brophy’s lawyers claimed in their formal request.
While Cardi sported a calm demeanor when being examined by her own lawyers, Cappello claimed the “WAP” rapper’s mood switched in a way “that puts Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to shame,” and noted Cardi’s testimony was “a deliberate strategy to frustrate Plaintiff’s presentation of his case and improperly influence the jury.”
The new filing comes after District Judge Cormac J. Carney demanded Brophy start paying the rapper’s attorney’s fees and costs immediately. He wrote that his decision to uphold Cardi’s victory was because Brophy and his lawyers failed to preserve their right to bring a Rule 50 motion before the case was submitted to the jury for deliberations.
The untimeliness of Brophy’s Rule 50 is reason enough to deny it. But the motion also wants for substantive merit,” Carney wrote in the ruling obtained by Rolling Stone.
“The jury had an ample basis for its verdict,” the ruling continued. “For example, the jury could have reasonably concluded that the back tattoo on the model on the mixtape cover at issue in this suit was not sufficiently identifiable with Brophy to constitute misappropriation of his likeness or depiction in a false light. Because the model’s face is not visible, identification based on facial appearance is impossible.”