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Fiji Water Has a Zinger for Its Own Photobombing Model

And a counter-lawsuit
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2019 8:09 AM CST
Jamie Lee Curtis at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
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(Newser) – It should have just been a quirky moment that went viral, but now Mashable reports that there's real bad blood between Fiji Water and the woman formerly known as the Fiji Water Girl. Fiji is countersuing Kelleth Cuthbert (real name Kelly Steinbach), who found internet fame following her uncanny ability to photobomb celebrities on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards, and it's not exactly pulling any punches: The suit claims that Cuthbert "reneged on the valid agreement (to) permit FIJI to use her likeness, and instead, attempted to extort close to half a million dollars from FIJI because she wanted a better deal than the original $90,000 she had originally accepted."

Further, "[The] irony is not lost on FIJI that Ms. Steinbach has now bitten the hand that feeds her by suing the very company that is entirely responsible for providing her the opportunity and the means to capitalize on her fleeting 15 minutes of internet fame." Cuthbert, for her part, is claiming Fiji pressured her to sign away her rights and that Fiji used her likeness without permission. (Read more Fiji Water stories.)

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