JAY-Z is taking a photographer to court over an iconic photo shoot.
The Roc Nation mogul is suing Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, claiming that the famed photographer is exploiting JAY-Z’s name and image without the rapper’s consent. In legal documents, obtained by TMZ, JAY says he never gave Mannion permission to sell the photos, some of which go for thousands of dollars on his website.
He claims that when he asked Mannion to stop using his image, the photographer asked for tens of millions of dollars. JAY says Mannion is making an “arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases.”
JAY hired Mannion in 1996 to shoot the cover for his debut album Reasonable Doubt. JAY says Mannion took hundreds of photos during the shoot and was compensated “handsomely” for those uses.
JAY maintains strict control over how his name, likeness, identity, and persona are used, and demands that Mannion stop profiting off his name.
In the suit, Jay claims it’s “ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a formerly-unknown Black teenager, now wildly successful, as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can produce. It stops today.”
In addition to stopping the sale of the photos, JAY-Z wants Mannion to hand over the profits he’s made off his likeness.