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February 24, 2019

Fiji Water countersues photobombing model Kelleth Cuthbert

February 9, 2019
Model Kelleth Cuthbert, shown here greeting fans a week before Super Bowl LIII, is facing a countersuit from Fiji Water company. (Steve Luciano / AP)

The photobomber has just been bombed with a counterclaim!

Fiji Water model Kelleth Cuthbert, who managed to make herself conspicuous in the background of numerous shots on the red carpet of January’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony, has been served a countersuit by her employer, reported Deadline on Friday.

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The Wonderful Company, which owns Fiji Water, alleges that Cuthbert, 31, copped out of an agreement that allowed the company to use her likeness in its promotions.

The suit claims she’s attempting “to extort close to half a million dollars from Fiji” because she was unsatisfied with the $90,000 deal she inked.

The Canadian model, whose real name is Kelly Steinbach, filed a lawsuit against the company on Jan. 31, alleging that it had used her image in its advertising without her approval. But Fiji’s countersuit asserts, “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’s lawyer, Kecia Reynolds, called the cross-complaint “an obvious publicity stunt to counter revelations of Fiji Water’s unlawful actions.”

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“Suing Fiji Water was a last resort for Ms. Cuthbert, who had hoped to discreetly resolve this dispute,” said Reynolds. “Fiji Water used her image without a contract, without consent and without paying her, all for Fiji Water’s financial gain.”

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