Posted in music on July 16, 2010
You may have heard by now that Vampire Weekend, XL Recordings and a photographer named Tod Brody are being sued for 2 million dollars by Contra cover model Kirsten Kennis. She claims that she never gave permission for them to use a picture that was taken of her in 1983 (back when she was actually a model), and that the photographer basically tricked the band and label into thinking they were buying it legally. She says the band and label are also at fault for not doing due diligence when they paid $5000 for the picture from Tod. She thinks she deserves 2 million because her picture was obviously the reason the band's album was so successful... That's basically the info that most sites are posting, but I obtained a copy of the court documents and there's more...
First of all, her full name is Ann Kirsten Kennis, though when she was a model she just went by "Kirsten". She was a "high-fashion model under contract with prestigious agencies in New York City" in the 80's and early 90's. Her picture has appeared in clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and automobile ads, and for that she was "highly compensated" and "enjoyed numerous assignments".
She lives in Fairfield, CT, and most interestingly, she claims Tod didn't even take the picture. Her real last name doesn't even appear in the contract Vampire Weekend signed when they bought it. The allegedly forged/fake contract is with "Kirsten Johnsen" and signed by "Kirsten Johnson" (yes, the document has the last name spelled two different ways).
If Tod didn't take the picture, I'm not sure how he thought he would get away with it since she would obviously eventually see it. Whether he took it or not, it's still displayed in his portfolio (with "kirsten" in the file name), though his page that displayed the Vampire Weekend album cover is now gone.
Not content with all that, I went on a search for another picture of Kirsten, but unfortunately I came up dry though I do think I found a picture of her dog, and what might be her not-quite-operational "Cosmic Cubs" teddy bear website (which would be consistent with the possibility that her family is in the toy business). It's also possible that back before she was married, her name may have been Ann Klendshoj which is the name of someone who had a nasty run in with a creepy doctor in 1994. Speaking of creepy, I'll end this paragraph here.
Rostam from Vampire Weekend, Kid Cudi & Bethany of Best Coast made a new song for Converse. The video for that track, "All Summer", is below...
Converse - "All Summer" - Music Video