Her costly image kerfuffle ...
A few days back, Rihanna stepped out wearing a shirt that featured a lady enjoying what can best be described as self-gratification. But it appears the chanteuse is a lot pickier when the face on the shirt belongs to her. The New York Post says she's suing British retail behemoth Topshop for $5 million for selling T-shirts emblazoned with her picture. Seems the company never got her permission.
According to an insider, RiRi's team has spent eight months trying to negotiate a settlement over image rights, but Topshop's parent company "offered her $5,000 and said they don't care." (The parent company is apparently the honey badger.)
Here's how the source breaks it down:
"Rihanna's management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told, 'We do what we want.' They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, U.K. law does not protect the artist.
What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, 'Go to hell. We don't care; we are going to continue selling you.' Topshop is now in the United States. They set up in Manhattan and Nordstrom, but they know better than to do this in the U.S. because they would get in trouble.
Even though the U.K. laws don't protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1 million in litigation at this point. She says it's the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong."
Rihanna, who early last year enjoyed a five-hour spree at Topshop's flagship store, hired an international law firm to file suit in London, and the case is reportedly in the discovery phase.
A Topshop insider tells the paper that the issue began with a T-shirt from a "third-party supplier. We are aware it is the subject of litigation. … The amount of damages sought has not been articulated anywhere in the claimant's document."
Week of March 24: "It's like a flash mob of stupidity."
Week of March 17: "I'm less threatening now that I'm 40 and not 26-with-an-Oscar."
Week of March 10: "I'm nervous, sweaty and weird."
Week of March 3: "They don't like Givenchy Kanye."
Week of Feb. 24: "A bad word that I can't say that starts with 'F.'"
Week of Feb. 17: "My grandkids always beat me at Rock Band."
Week of Feb. 10: "I'm gay for marijuana."
Week of Feb. 2: "I just want Beyonce to be the mother of my children."
Week of Jan. 27: "I'm just so thrilled I have dental."
It's all in the name of 'The Vampire Diaries' ...
The major downside to dating a co-worker? If the relationship goes belly-up, you still have to see each other. For Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev, that means keeping things professional while stumping for "The Vampire Diaries" at the annual CW upfront presentation for advertisers in New York on Thursday. The exes, who pulled the plug on their three-year romance earlier this month, hit the stage with CW president Mark Pedowitz as he unveiled the network's fall schedule. Dobrev, sheathed in an electric-blue Versace frock, and Somerhalder, in a dubious plaid suit accessorized with his piercing blue eyes, reportedly avoided one another on the red carpet, but they chatted briefly during the onstage appearance. "They were talking," a spy tells Gossip Cop, "but it didn't look anything more than cordial."
Thanks fans, shows off zero belly swelling …
Beyoncé has bounced back from the dehydration and exhaustion that forced her to cancel her concert Tuesday night in Belgium. She hit the stage Wednesday in Antwerp styling a sparkly Ralph & Russo peplum bodysuit that didn't appear to be concealing much in the belly region, despite rampant speculation that she's pregnant with baby No. 2.
"I just have to say, I feel so good to be on this stage," a smiling but emotional Bey told the crowd. "I have the best fans in the world. … Now my doctors told me not to perform, but there was no way in the world. I just have to say that y'all give me so much inspiration, and I just want to thank you guys."
After nixing Tuesday's show, the chanteuse posted a handwritten note of apology, telling ticket-holders, "I've never postponed a show in my life. It was very hard for me. I promise I will make it up very soon. I'm sorry if I disappointed you. Thank you for your concern. I'm feeling much better now and I'm ready to give you a great show."
Watch video of her onstage mea culpa below, along with more pics from the concert …
We'll take two tickets to the gun show on the D.C. set of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' ...
OK, one comment: Damn. Now if only Anthony Mackie would take off that sweatshirt. See more pics here.
She shows off the results of her gym time ...
Last year, the Internet attacked Christina Aguilera after she made the apparently unforgivable mistake of gaining a few pounds and stepping out in public. So it's nice to see that she's taking back control of the weight narrative. On Wednesday, the once and future "Voice" judge tweeted the pinup pose above, which shows her petite hourglass figure encased in a bra top and clingy skirt. The outfit (and scenic backdrop) were part of a music video shoot for the song "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti" ("Today I Want You for Me"), on which Xtina duets with singer Alejandro Fernandez. Listen below ...
'Cleaning up before the Met Ball' gives Miele vacuums unprecedented sales boost
Last spring, "MDNA" set a record for the biggest second-week sales drop in chart history, but it seems Madonna can still shake up the market -- the market for vacuum cleaners, anyway.
After Madge Instagrammed this photo of herself "cleaning up before the Met Ball" in a studded Givenchy jacket, thigh-high hose and towering pink stilettos, Miele S4 vacuum sales calls more than doubled, according to Miele's Marketing Director, Dominic Worlsey.
Not one to pass up the first and probably last pop music - vacuum pun opportunity of his career, Worlsey tells Handbag.com:
"We've had so much interest that we've contacted her as a potential brand ambassador to launch the 'Immaculate Collection' of Miele vacuums. Inspired by the fashion forward icon, the range could emulate Madonna's most unforgettable outfits, from a pink Material Girl design, to an edgy look reminiscent of her Jean Paul Gaultier pointy braziers."
But why stop there? How 'bout a vacuum that plays church choir music a la "Like a Prayer"? A vacuum made of jelly beans as an homage to Madonna's work with Jellybean Benitez? Wait, wait: a vacuum where the bag is a little doll to signify the storyline of "Papa Don't Preach!"
I mean, once you've dressed a vacuum cleaner up in a gold cone-bra from the '90s, the sky's kinda the limit ...
Does Sophia know about this?
Sometime soon, a deep-pocketed art aficionado will dig into a cheesecake while humming "Thank You for Being a Friend," all while staring jubilantly at his or her latest acquisition. During a Christie's auction Wednesday in New York, an anonymous buyer plunked down $1.91 million for a painting of a steely-eyed Bea Arthur with her pendulous golden girls on prominent display.
"Bea Arthur Naked" is the brainchild of artist John Currin, who based the 1991 topless work on a (fully clothed) photo of the late actress.
"I had a vision in my head of Bea Arthur, and I found a picture of her," Currin has said of the piece (see the full portrait here). "I was going to put a scarf ensemble on her like that from her 'Maude' days, and I drew the body just to drape it. It was then that I realized that the painting was fantastic as it was. I loved being repelled by those two black eyes and falling back into these wonderful, soft breasts, which draw you back in. I thought about the personae of the middle-aged women that were pictured in this series, and I imagined them as being divorced and cast out, like harlequins wandering the beach. They are all self-portraits in a sense."
Heavy. Let's lighten things up with some of Dorothy Zbornak's best zingers ...