Bobby Brown sues over use of image in upcoming Whitney Houston documentary

Bobby Brown AP
Bobby Brown participates in “The Bobby Brown Story” panel during the Viacom Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Friday, July 27, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Bobby Brown is suing Showtime Networks, the BBC, and the producers of a Whitney Houston documentary entitled Can I Be Me? charging unauthorized use of his and his late daughter’s likeness, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Brown, along with the estate of his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is seeking $2 million for footage that was used from his reality show Being Bobby Brown, which he says he never consented to be used, the lawsuit states.

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“The film contains footage that Brown and BKB has never consented to have released,” states the complaint, filed Wednesday in New York federal court.

“Brown and BKB appear in the film for a substantial period of time, in excess of thirty (30) minutes. The footage was actually recorded prior to the divorce in 2007 between Brown and Houston. Brown never signed or executed a release for the airing of the material that appears in the film. The footage of Brown is approximately fifteen (15) years old.”

Brown appeared with Houston and their daughter on the freality series from June through December 2005. Footage from that show was used and is cited in the lawsuit, which claims a breach of an agreement not to use the footage.

There is an additional complaint against B2 Entertainment, a dissolved company for breach-of-contract. The company had a deal with Brown’s company for the Bravo reality series, Being Bobby Brown.

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According to the complaint, “B2 agreed not to use any materials associated with Brown’s family friends or employers without his consent in TV or film projects,”

The lawsuit claims the film usage amounts to a misappropriation of publicity rights as well as a violation of the Lanham Act.

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