The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Lisa Rinna, is being sued – for sharing pictures of herself on her Instagram.
Though she isn’t the only Housewives star beset with lawsuits (her co-star, Erika Jayne, is also embroiled in unrelated legal woes), Rinna is the only one facing litigation for posting to her own Instagram.
The lawsuit was brought by Backgrid USA Inc., and accuses her of violating copyright infringement for posting photos they claim the legal rights to on her Instagram, reported Reality Blurb.
According to attorney Ronald Richards, who is investigating Jayne as part of high-profile attorney Thomas Girardi’s bankruptcy case, Rinna might have only recently been aware that a lawsuit even existed:
“During the game of connect the dots while snorkeling on a dip, we discovered a federal court action against [Lisa Rinna]. Apparently, she just got sued for copyright violations. We will cover this case. I hope she knows about it as the papers were left with her assistant.”
The lawsuit was filed back in June of this year, and demands a jury trial:
“Rinna violated federal law by willfully infringing Backgrid’s copyrights to at least eight photographs on, at least, Rinna’s Instagram account… Moreover, Rinna induced, caused, or materially contributed to the reproduction, distribution and public display of the Rinna Photographs, and derivatives thereof, all while knowing or having reason to know of the infringement on her account was without permission, consent, or license,” the complaint read. “By uploading the Rinna Photographs to the account, Rinna encourages her fans to ‘share’ the photographs, thus, causing others to also willfully infringe and multiplying the harm to Backgrid.”
The incident itself goes even further back, and the lawsuit states that Rinna was informed back in February. The suit is seeking $1.2 million in “damages” as well as any legal fees accrued as part of pursuing the lawsuit.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rinna was “shocked” to hear of the lawsuit, and maintained that she and her family had always had a good relationship with the press, including the paparazzi.
“I’ve always seen it as a very symbiotic relationship. It was part of the game, if you’re going to be in this business. I’ve been nice, I’ve never fought with them, I’ve never run from them. My kids grew up with them jumping out of the bushes in Malibu. We’ve had a very good relationship with the press and the paparazzi. That’s why this is so shocking to me,” Rinna told the Times.
At other times, however, Rinna seemed to be trying to play it cool, and shared a video of herself dancing on Instagram with husband Harry Hamlin in the background, gardening, this July. The caption was “Just dancing in my heavily mortgaged house with my hot husband.”
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The line about the “heavily mortgaged house” is not an exaggeration or a joke. According to Richards, Rinna owes $3.45 million towards the house she and her husband share in Beverly Hills.
If the lawsuit places the couple another $1.2 million in the hole, they may face a significant financial reckoning as they try to come up with $4.65 million.
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