The model who would become the “Fiji Water Girl” following her Golden Globes gig is denying she tried to extort the water company and is demanding their lawsuit against her be dismissed.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, model Kelleth Cuthbert is demanding Fiji’s countersuit against her be dismissed. Fiji accused Cuthbert of breach of contract and accused her of trying to extort close to $500,000 in an attempt to get more money than she had agreed to be paid.
She is adamant she never gave the company permission to use her face and says no deal was ever signed, therefore she claims Fiji’s lawsuit over breach of contract doesn’t stand.
Cuthbert argues the consent given was obtained by “fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation.” She says the contract she signed was supposed to be a fake document for a fake signing ceremony.
The “Fiji Water Girl” wants their lawsuit against her thrown out and her case to continue on.
As The Blast first reported, Cuthbert sued the Fiji Water Company and The Wonderful Company alleging they created an unauthorized marketing campaign based off the viral sensation she created at the Golden Globes.
Cuthbert claims on January 7 — one day after the Globes — Fiji Water “intentionally created cardboard cutouts of Steinbach for use in a cardboard cutout marketing campaign.”
She says on January 8, Fiji tried to negotiate an agreement with the model’s agent … but the very next day they were contacted when someone had already seen the cardboard cutout placed in a Bristol Farms in West Hollywood. In fact, it was seen in a paparazzi photograph as John Legend exited the grocery store.
The cardboard cutouts were apparently used to push Fiji Water while capitalizing on the fame from the Golden Globes moment. The documents claim Fiji tried to offer “gifts to entice” the model to sign away her rights.
The suit also claimed Fiji “pressured Steinbach into video recording a fake signing of a fake document to simulate Steinbach signing on as a Fiji Water Ambassador.” Her legal team says the document was not an agreement and was later destroyed by the model.
Steinbach, who believes she generated more than $12 million worth of brand exposure, wants the company to stop using the cardboard cutouts ASAP, and for Fiji Water pay up.
Fiji countersued Cuthbert calling her lawsuit a “blatant attempt to skirt her contractual obligations.” The water company says “simple greed” by Cuthbert was shown when she allegedly reneged on an agreement with Fiji, and “attempted to extort close to half a million dollars from Fiji because she wanted a better deal than the original $90,000 she had originally accepted.”
Fiji said Cuthbert is merely trying to “capitalize on her fleeting 15 minutes of internet fame,” and claim all her accusations about fake signatures and unauthorized are “baseless.” They also find it ironic that the model has now “bitten the hand that feeds her.”
The company countersued their “Fiji Water Girl” for breach of contract and false promise, and are seeking damages from the model.