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Rihanna Gets New Lawyer for Ongoing ‘S&M’ Lawsuit

Rihanna Changes Lawyers in LaChapelle Lawsuit
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Rihanna has been getting smacked with lawsuits, and now the R&B singer has staffed up with a new lawyer for her case involving photographer and director David LaChapelle.

According to Perez Hilton, Rihanna has fired her legal team from New York’s Pryor Cashman and hired Paul Kilmer from Holland & Knight. LaChapelle filed a lawsuit against the singer in February, claiming that more than one scene in her ‘S&M’ music video rips off his original art. He insists that the imagery copies the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting of his work.”

Since then, LaChapelle has won a pre-trial ruling in which the a New York federal judge found that the video appeared to copy protectable elements of his images. “Both works share the frantic and surreal mood of women dominating men in a hypersaturated, claustrophobic domestic space. Thus, I find that an ordinary observer may well overlook any differences and regard the aesthetic appeal of ‘Striped Face’ and the ‘Pink Room Scene’ as the same,” Judge Shira A. Scheindlin wrote in her decision.

Whether Rihanna goes to trial or settles out of court is still yet to be determined, but at the very least she’s armed with a defense lawyer she’s happy with.

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