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Rihanna Settles ‘S&M’ Lawsuit

Rihanna
Dave J. Hogan, Getty Images

Case closed!

According to the New York Post, the good girl gone bad known as Rihanna has settled her case with famed photographer David LaChapelle. The shutterbug sued the singer and her label IDJ, saying that scenes in her sextastic and subversive ‘S&M’ video were directly lifted from his images.

What he  actually said was that the video is “directly derived and substantially similar” to eight of his photos. He was seeking damages of up to $1 million, but RiRi avoided going to court by opting to settle for an undisclosed sum. A New York City judge ruled in July that LaChappelle had enough grounds to make his claims and the case was about to go to trial.

LaChappelle accused RiRi of copying everything from clothing to lighting to poses to props, but insisted that his suit was purely professional. And he even copped to being a fan. Earlier this summer, the photog said, “I like RiRi. This is not personal, it’s strictly business. Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone’s beats and there should be no difference when sampling an artist’s visuals.”

Some of the images that were familiar include a dominatrix walking a man on a leash and a woman in latex headgear. While those might be viewed as common BDSM themes, there is a  scene in the vid where RiRi is playing the role of a dominatrix in a room with pink and white striped walls. It was deemed incredibly similar to the photographer’s ‘Striped Face’ photo.

LaChapelle’s publicist confirmed the news, saying that his client is “happy” with the settlement.

Now that they’ve settled and are moving on, maybe he can do an exclusive, S&M-themed photo shoot for Rihanna to help promote her upcoming LP ‘Talk That Talk,’ which drops this November.

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