Poor old Dolce & Gabbana just can’t seem to catch a break. First they were sentenced to jail, then they were forced to close their Milanese stores for indignation (yes, really!) and now the duo are being sued by Easy Rider star Peter Fonda for making and selling t-shirts with his name and image without his permission.
The two-time Academy Award nominee who wrote, produced and acted in the 1969 movie “Easy Rider”. The complaint, filed last Friday in the Superior Court of California, provided nine different t-shirts as evidence, containing graphics depicting Fonda in “Easy Rider,” mostly outfitted in motorcycle gear or riding the motorcycle scene in the movie. The shirts are priced at almost $300.
Fonda alleges in the suit that he has “suffered injuries to his peace, happiness, feelings, goodwill, reputation, image, loss of fair market value of his services, and dilution of his current and future publicity value.” He is seeking damages of at least $6 million, additional punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and for Dolce & Gabbana to surrender any profits they generated from the t-shirt sales.
The t-shirts have been removed from the Dolce & Gabbana website.
Fonda is not the only person to object to his image being used on a t-shirt without permission. Rihanna is currently battling Topshop in the English courts over the use of her or selling T-shirts with pictures of her face without her consent. The difference is that, in England, that’s not illegal per se, as we have no right of publicity in this country.