Ah, So, The Fiji Water Girl Is Suing Fiji Water
Inception, Fiji Water edition.
After a week of reporting on Andy King, the viral sensation from Netflix's Fyre Festival documentary who became a meme after telling the world that he was "fully prepared" to "suck d**k" in order to get an order of Evian water delivered, Fiji Water has today reclaimed its title of most talked about bottled water.
In the latest battle of what the history books will one day refer to as The Great Bottled Water War of 2019, the Fiji Water Girl is now suing Fiji Water.
Yes, that's right. Model and meme Kelleth Cuthbert -- who was hired by Fiji to hand out bottles on the Golden Globes' red carpet at the start of the year -- has alleged that Fiji Water Company and The Wonderful Company created an unoauthorised marketing campaign out of the photobombing skills that saw her in the background of tons of celeb snaps.
According to the lawsuit, Cuthbert alleges that the day after she went viral -- on January 7 -- the company “intentionally created cardboard cutouts" of her, in order to "use in a cardboard cutout marketing campaign.”
The documents go on to allege that the day after that -- January 8 -- Fiji went to Cuthbert's agent to try to negotiate a new agreement, stating that the company offered "gifts to entice" Cuthbert, but the cardboard cutouts were spotted in stores on January 9, before Cuthbert had signed any agreement.
The lawsuit also claims that the company "pressured" her into "recording a fake signing of a fake document to simulate Steinbach signing on as a Fiji Water Ambassador,” -- basically, a video pretending that she was agreeing to become an ambassador for the company??? Anyway, her lawyers EXPOSED IT as a lie and also said that Cuthbert destroyed the document anyway??
It's all very confusing, but basically, Cuthbert said that the company knew she was not actually an ambassador for the company but went on to use her in their campaigns anyway.
Cuthbert is seeking monetary damages and wants Fiji to stop using the cardboard cutouts, and estimates that she generated "more than USD$12 million worth of brand exposure" for them.
UPDATE: Fiji Water has issued the following statement:
This lawsuit is frivolous and entirely without merit. After the Golden Globes social media moment, we negotiated a generous agreement with Ms. Cuthbert that she blatantly violated. We are confident that we will prevail in Court. Throughout our history, we have had a sterling reputation working with talent.
We don't know about you, but we're thirsty to know how this one turns out.
Feature image: Getty Images