Cover girl for Vampire Weekend's 'Contra' sues
While you sit at home and listen to Vampire Weekend's Contra over and over again in anticipation of the band's stop at St. Pete's Jannus Live on Oct. 12, their cover girl, former model Ann Kirsten Kennis, is pretty unhappy. It seems she doesn't know how the heck her photo became the album's cover art, so she's suing for $2 million. Sounds about right for today's recording industry.
The 52-year-old's image comes from an old Polaroid supposedly taken by photographer Tod Brody for a commercial casting call in 1983, but Kennis says she doesn't remember the shoot or the shooter. She says at first she was honored to be on the cover of the No. 1 album in the country (her daughter alerted her to the photo last January), but the more she saw her own face, the angrier she got.
"It felt like someone was exploiting me," Kennis told Vanity Fair. "Who do these people think they are that they can just take my picture from god only knows where and plaster it everywhere?" The model -- who spent the '80s and '90s doing shoots for L’Oréal, Revlon, Fabergé, Parliament, Cuervo, Jordache and Vaseline -- says the image looks nothing like a casting photo, and likely was taken by her own mother.
"The hair’s not done, the makeup’s not done, the lighting’s not done. Nothing. It almost looks like somebody caught me by surprise," she said. "The other thing that’s strange about this photo is that it’s not taken (in front of a) seamless (back-drop) like it would be in a photographer’s studio. You can see a door frame there and hinges right in the background."
The Vampire Weekend boys bought the photo from Brody for $5,000, but the suit seems to Brody to be based on Internet rumors that Brody is a con man and scam artist. There's even a site calle the Tod Brody Fraud Blog full of stories from people allegedly swindled by him.
"As a photographer, for them to try to say that I didn’t take the photo and I claimed I took the photo—that’s extremely damaging," Brody told the mag. "Unfortunately, I don’t think Ms. Kennis’s attorney really researched me that well. He read some bad stuff about me on the Internet and thought I was some fraudulent clown who happened to acquire this photo."
We'll have to wait and see if California decides Ann is entitled to some of the cash 377,000 albums sold in the U.S. brought in.