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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Unwitting Model Objects to Book Cover

NEWARK (CN) - A woman claims a publisher and a photographer defrauded her and invaded her privacy by using her photo on the cover a book about a Newark drug dealer, without her consent.

Tiffany Cruz sued photographer Akintola Hanif and Wahida Clark Presents Publishing in Essex County Court.

The book at issue, "Cheetah, Always Be Ahead of the Hustle," features a main character who is "a Newark, New Jersey drug dealer," Cruz says.

Cruz says Hanif took her photos in February 2009, and that during the photo shoot, he "did not offer to pay for the plaintiff's pictured and did not enter into any written agreements with the plaintiff for purposes of taking her pictures."

Nonetheless, she says, Hanif "sold or otherwise gave permission" to the publisher, which is based in East Orange, N.J., "to use the plaintiff's image in a book."

Cruz says that when she "learned of use of her image without her consent, she attempted to contact the defendant, Akintola Hanif, to demand withdrawal of her image from the book".

She says Wahida Clark "continues to publish the book with her image," despite her objections.

Cruz says the defendants appropriated her likeness for their own economic advantage without her consent, and that "unless the plaintiff's image is removed from the cover of Wahida's book, the plaintiff will continue to suffer irreparable harm."

Cruz also claims that Hanif made "material misrepresentations" about the use of her likeness, which is why she agreed to pose for the photos in the first place.

She seeks an injunction and damages for privacy invasion and common law fraud.

She is represented by Walter Piccolo, with Fusco & Macaluso of Passaic.

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