A complaint was filed on Friday in the Southern District of Florida by plaintiff Curtis J. Jackson III, best known as 50 Cent, Angela Kogan and Perfection Plastic Surgery, Inc. The complaint alleges that the defendants used a photo of the plaintiff without his consent and claimed that he had received plastic surgery from the defendants, when the plaintiff maintains that he had not.
The complaint describes the plaintiff as a “world-famous celebrity and entrepreneur.” In early 2020, the plaintiff says, he agreed to take a photo with Kogan, who he thought was a fan. Once the photo had been taken, Kogan allegedly used the photo as promotional content for Perfection Plastic Surgery, touting 50 Cent as a client and insinuating his endorsement.
50 Cent claims that since the photo was taken, it was featured in a news article opposite a photo of a faceless male undergoing a penile enhancement procedure. The plaintiff argues that this made the implication of the article clear, stating that “not only were [plaintiff’s] image and name linked to a sexual enhancement treatment he never had, but Kogan also falsely implied to the reporter that [plaintiff] was her client for plastic surgery more generally.”
The article was shared by the defendants across social media, using popular hashtags that allowed the post to gain greater visibility amongst their hundreds of thousands of followers, per the complaint. The defendant’s engagement with the article on social media allegedly led many to “misconstrue Jackson’s image and name as an endorsement of Kogan and [defendant Perfection Plastic Surgery’s] business, or as verification that Jackson himself had received the plastic surgery procedures described in the Article.”
The plaintiff maintains that he never received plastic surgery from the defendants. He concludes the complaint by asserting that the defendants “opportunistically misappropriated Jackson’s name and image for their own promotional and commercial advantage,” in violation of the Lanham Act and the plaintiff’s right to publicity.
The complaint cites right of publicity, common law invasion of privacy, two violations of the Lanham Act, conversion, and unjust enrichment. 50 Cent is seeking punitive, treble, and exemplary damages, a permanent injunction preventing the defendants from further misconduct, litigation fees, interest, disgorgement of profits, and any other relief deemed proper by the court.
The plaintiff is represented in the litigation by Akerman LLP.