Miami Spa Blasts 50 Cent’s ‘Frivolous’ Penile Surgery Lawsuit ‘Insinuation’

Days after rapper 50 Cent accused a Miami medical spa of falsely suggesting he had undergone penile surgery, the company has hired a lawyer and is firing back.

Represented by attorney Darren Heitner, Angela Kogan and her Perfection Plastic Surgery & MedSpa said in a statement Tuesday that they would “vigorously defend” themselves against the rapper’s “frivolous” lawsuit, which the star (real name Curtis Jackson) filed last week in Florida federal court.

The suit alleges that Kogan used an innocent photo taken with 50 Cent to falsely imply that he was a client and had received penile enhancement surgery. But in her statement, she says he was in fact a client – and had consented to the use of the image as payment for the work he received.

“Mr. Jackson appears to be oblivious to the true underlying facts,” Heitner wrote to Kogan. “To refresh his memory, Mr. Jackson received services from Perfection Plastic Surgery & MedSpa. Mr. Jackson and Ms. Kogan agreed that instead of Mr. Jackson paying for the services, Mr. Jackson would take a picture with Ms. . Kogan, which she was allowed to display on her personal and business social media accounts. There were witnesses present when this arrangement was entered into and when the photo was taken.”

As for the penile-enhancement surgery suggestion, Kogan confirmed that 50 Cent never got one — but she says she never hinted as much. In her statement, she suggested that any legal beef the rapper has should be with The Shade Room, the website that published an article about her practice with the image of 50 Cent along with a penile enhancement story.

“Mr. Jackson apparently takes great issue with the graphic that was created and used by The Shade Room,” Heitner wrote to Kogan. “However, instead of filing suit against the author who wrote the article and/or the website that published it , Mr. Jackson has decided to smear Ms. Kogan’s name and the name of her company for no reason.”

Kogan says she did not give the image to Shade Room or consent to its use in the story. But she says the article’s wording was correct: “The article did not say that Mr. Jackson received a penile enhancement, nor did it include any comments from Ms. Kogan stating the same. Instead, [The Shade Room] accurately reported, in an article that also dealt with penile enhancement procedures, that Ms. Kogan’s extensive celebrity clientele includes 50 Cent.”

The Shade Room, which was not named as a defendant in 50 Cent’s lawsuit, did not immediately return a request for comment on Kogan’s response.

The lawsuit filed Friday told a very different story. 50 Cent’s lawyers say he “graciously agreed” to take the picture with “someone he thought was a fan.” He says he “never consented” to the use of the image for commercial purposes in any form, and certainly not in a way that suggested he had undergone penile surgery.

The lawsuit alleges that Kogan essentially developed the article on Shade Room, which never directly claimed to have performed the surgery, but used his image prominently alongside text, headlines and other images about penile enhancements performed by Kogan’s company.

“The meaning was clear: The image is juxtaposed with an image of a faceless man undergoing a penile enhancement procedure, with a euphemistic eggplant emoji covering his exposed groin area,” Jackson’s lawyers wrote. They emphasized that it had been used as the “thumbnail” image when the article was shared on social media, widening the scope of the alleged misrepresentation.

They claim that the use of the photo “exposed Jackson to ridicule and caused “substantial damage to his professional and personal reputation.” His lawyers included a number of such comments on social media in the complaint, including one that “vulgarly” said that the rapper should now be called “50 inch”.

“Kogan … should have known that this could lead to vulgar and sexually charged comments about Jackson and his body, especially in light of the way black men in American history have been and continue to be sexualized and fetishized. ” the star’s lawyers wrote.

In technical terms, the lawsuit alleges that Kogan and her company violated his so-called right of publicity — the right to control the commercial use of your name and image. He also says it was an invasion of privacy and violated the federal law barring false endorsement and false advertising.


amritabazar.com

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