ENTERTAINMENT

Selena’s Family Threatens Legal Action Against Trump Supporter Hosting Rally at Texas Memorial

Abraham Quintanilla Jr., the father of the late Mexican-American singer Selena, has sent a cease and desist letter to Trump supporter Joe Michael Perez, who plans to host an upcoming rally at the Selena Memorial in Texas.

“In cultivating the legacy of Selena, the Quintanilla’s have never associated Selena with partisan politics,” reads a statement obtained by Billboard from Beverly Hills firm Singh, Singh & Trauben, LLP. “Without ever seeking, let alone obtaining, the Quintanilla’s approval, this individual, who has no affiliation or connection with the family, has appropriated the name, image and likeness of Selena for self-aggrandizement, including through the use of merchandise and apparel depicting Selena.”

Last month, Perez shared a photo next to the life-size bronze statue of the singer located in Corpus Christi and placed a red hat on the statue that read “Trump Keep America Great 2020.” On social media, he began using the term “Bidi Bidi Trump Trump” (in reference to Selena’s song “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”) as a promotional slogan.

Now, Perez plans to host a rally at the memorial on Saturday, July 11, encouraging other Trump supporters to bring their flags and Trump Gear.

According to the legal letter, Quintanilla is “simply demanding that this individual cease and desist from these blatantly transparent acts of unlawful exploitation and illicit profiteering off of Selena’s name, image, and likeness, whether under the guise of gaining publicity for political campaign donations or otherwise.”

Amid the news making the rounds, Perez assured on his Facebook page that he will not cancel the rally and that he looks forward to seeing everyone at the event, where about 150 people are expected to attend.

Read the full statement on behalf of the Quintanilla’s below:

In cultivating the legacy of Selena, the Quintanilla’s have never associated Selena with partisan politics. Now, without ever seeking, let alone obtaining, the Quintanilla’s approval, this individual, who has no affiliation or connection with the family, has appropriated the name, image, and likeness of Selena for self-aggrandizement, including through the use of merchandise and apparel depicting Selena.

Misappropriating Selena for personal profit and recognition is unlawful. This individual clearly believes he stands to personally profit by drawing attention to himself and his business operations and agenda through the unlawful exploitation of, and misleading association with, Selena. He outwardly embraces the recognition he is gaining through this unlawful exploitation and is seeking to personally profit from these illegal acts.

In addition to the Quintanilla’s having never placed Selena’s name or identity into partisan politics, they have also never attempted to interfere with anyone’s speech, and do not seek to do so here. Rather, they are simply demanding that this individual cease and desist from these blatantly transparent acts of unlawful exploitation and illicit profiteering off of Selena’s name, image, and likeness, whether under the guise of gaining publicity for political campaign donations or otherwise.

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