The company Fiji is now counter-suing the Fiji Water Girl after the model sued the company for her famous appearance at the Golden Globes.
Fiji and its parent company Wonderful Company are now counter-suing Kelleth Cuthbert, popularly known as the Fiji Water Girl. They are suing her for breach of contract and false promise. They are also seeking compensation from the model.
A statement obtained by E! said, “This action arises from simple greed on the part of cross-defendant Kelly Steinbach (professionally known as Kelleth Cuthbert) and her agents.”
The statement added, “Ms. Steinbach reneged on the valid agreement between herself and Fiji to serve as a Fiji Water Brand Ambassador and permit Fiji to use her likeness in its related advertising campaign, and instead, attempted to extort close to half a million dollars from Fiji because she wanted a better deal than the original $90,000 she had originally accepted in exchange for such rights.”
Cuthbert’s lawyer responded to the statement, saying that Fiji’s suit was “an obvious publicity stunt to counter revelations of Fiji Water’s unlawful actions.” The lawyer also said that Cuthbert “will not be bullied by Fiji Water, the Wonderful Company, or its billionaire owners.”
The lawyer added, “Fiji Water has never paid Kelleth and there was not an agreement, not an email agreement or fake document agreement. Fiji Water created cardboard cutouts of Kelleth to advertise and market their product. Fiji Water profited from using Kelleth’s image without consent and she is legally entitled to damages and profits from the use of her image. Fiji Water’s complaint is merit-less and Kelleth is confident she will prevail in court.”
“Suing Fiji Water was a last resort for Ms. Cuthbert who had hoped to discretely resolve this dispute. Fiji Water used her image without a contract, without consent and without paying her, all for Fiji Water’s financial gain. Models make a living off the use of their image. No one would expect other professions to work for free. Fiji Water’s cardboard cutout campaign used Ms. Cuthbert’s image unlawfully and she just wants what is fair,” the statement concluded.
The Fiji Water Girl gained fame at the 2019 Golden Globes.