Bethenny Frankel is not ending April on a high note!
The TV personality, best known for her appearances in the Bravo reality TV series “The Real Housewives of New York City,” recently got slammed with a lawsuit.
As reported by PageSix, the 51-year-old entertainer got sued by an enraged photographer, who accused the philanthropist of using his picture without permission.
Bethenny Frankel Faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over An Old Instagram Post
On Monday, April 25, a New York City photographer Marcus Santos filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Frankel at the Manhattan federal court.
As per the legal document, the plaintiff claimed “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” show’s runner-up broke the copyright laws by uploading one of his licensed pictures without crediting the photographer.
The alleged photo depicted the devastating aftermath caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, where the storm’s severity could be seen in a shattered residential neighborhood in Puerto Rico.
In May 2018, the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand founder uploaded this image of the storm-damaged area on Instagram via a video montage.
At the time, the reality TV star shared the picture to promote her post-storm humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico. “The Business is Personal” author captioned this post:
“This footage is from last year’s #thisisacrisis movement in #puertorico. #hurricanemaria killed more than 4600 people – that’s more than 70 TIMES the official toll.”
Although the businesswoman shared the alleged photo for good reasons, Santos claimed the post came months after he registered the snap with the US Copyright Officer.
The photographer stated in the lawsuit that Frankel used his image for commercial purposes, yet she failed to do so without permission or licensing.
In retribution, the New Yorker sued the “The Big Shot with Bethenny” star for damages and monetary relief, seeking to reclaim the profits made from the photo’s use.
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Following the chaos of Hurricane Maria, the “A Place of Yes” author reportedly traveled to various Puerto Rican towns, where she organized relief supplies for survivors through her BStrong foundation.
According to the news outlet, Santos wanted a jury trial for his unfolding court case with the Bravo star, but a decision has not been made.
The “Skating With The Stars” Runner-Up Set The Record Straight About Her Relationship Status
Last year, The Blast revealed that the “Bethenny Ever After” star cleared the air about her relationship with fiancé Paul Bernon following breakup rumors.
Speculations about the couple’s relationship status began to surface after Frankel was spotted without her luxurious engagement ring in an Instagram post.
At the time, the 51-year-old shared a picture of herself embracing the Christmas spirit by donning a black sweater designed with snowflakes, and the words “all my jingle ladies” were written in colorful letters.
She completed the merry look by rocking a short white fur skirt, bold red lipstick, and matching red nail polish while kneeling in front of a decorated Christmas tree.
This adorable post raised eyebrows because of the cryptic caption, “shoutout to all my jingle ladies who can put their own ring on it.”
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It did not take long for fans to start speculating about the TV personality’s relationship with Bernon, questioning if the pair were no longer an item.
Those rumors have been laid to rest as the “Bethenny & Fredrik” star assured her fanbase that her love story with the filmmaker was far from over.
Taking to her Instagram Stories, the “Hollywood Hills, 90028” star began by making her displeasure known, stating that she did not wish to address the rumors caused by “irresponsible press.”
However, she understood that letting these speculations continue would only “hurt and affect” people she cared for, recalling how the paparazzi rudely broke the news of her engagement.
“I was swimming and had my ring on,” the New Yorker explained, “and then it came out we were engaged because we didn’t make an announcement.”
As for why her diamond ring did not make an appearance in the Christmas post, “I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To” author said:
“We are engaged. I don’t always wear my ring. I don’t have to always wear my ring.”
Frankel also noted that relationships were about commitment, stating that her romance with Bernon had nothing to do with “jewelry.”