Jennifer Hudson sued by photographer for $175K over Instagram post

Academy Award-winner is one of the latest celebrities to be sued for using pictures without permission

Jennifer Hudson
Actress Jennifer Hudson attends the photocall to "Dreamgirls," which recently won a Golden Globe Award, at the Adlon Hotel January 19, 2006 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)

Jennifer Hudson is being sued for allegedly for posting a picture to Instagram without crediting the photographer.

Paparazzi photographer Fernando Ramales filed a lawsuit against Hudson and her company on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

READ MORE: First look: Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect’ biopic

Page Six reported Ramales snapped Hudson wearing a pink blazer and thigh-high stilettos last December. He alleges that Hudson erased the watermark to the picture and posted it to Instagram on Dec. 31, 2019, and provided a screenshot of the post as proof.

A screenshot released in court documents showing Jennifer Hudson’s Instagram post dated Dec. 31, 2019

“Me walking out of 2019 into 2020 like ….just as grateful as I can be ! Thank u Lord for all you’ve done for me ! I hope u all find your joy in the new year !” Hudson posted to Instagram.

The post, which garnered 31,965 likes, was recently removed but Ramales is demanding $175,000. He also wants his attorney’ fees paid for in regard to the alleged copyright infringement.

“More and more celebrities are using social media to reach out to their fans to promote their brand by using photographs,” said Ramales’ lawyer, Richard Liebowitz. “But Ms. Hudson and her company did not get the proper permissions to use the photograph, and they also cropped out the photographer’s watermark identifying him as the copyright holder. You simply can’t do that.”

Hudson, an Oscar Award-winning actress who is set to play Aretha Franklin in the upcoming Respect, has not yet commented on the matter.

Hudson is one of the latest celebrities to be sued by photographers.

In March, LeBron James was sued by Steven Mitchell for posting a picture of himself on Facebook without first getting permission from him. Mitchell cited Section 501 of the Copyright Act and wanted $150,000 in damages.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

“This action arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph of NBA basketball player Lebron James during a basketball game against the Miami Heat, owned and registered by Mitchell, a professional photographer,” the suit contends.

READ MORE: Lebron James sued for $150K over Facebook post

Mitchell declared that James had no authority to post the picture.

“Defendants did not license the Photograph from Plaintiff for its Website, nor did Defendants have Plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the Photograph on its Website,” the filing continues.

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