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FutureStarr50 Cent Sues The Shade Room For False Penis Enlargement Claims
Last year, Queens rapper 50 Cent -- real name Curtis Jackson -- sued Miami-based plastic surgeon Angela Kogan and gossip website The Shade Room for publishing a photo of him that implied he had undergone penis enlargement surgery.
Kogan and her company Perfection Plastic Surgery MedSpa were sued for using 50 Cent's image inside their establishment to promote penis enhancements. That image was later posted on The Shade Room's 27.7 million followers, leading many people to mistakenly believe he had received the procedure himself.
One year after Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson filed a lawsuit against The Shade Room, a gossip blog that shared his story about penis enlargement surgery, the rapper is set to settle with its owner without going to court, according to Complex magazine reporter Meghann Cuniff.
Suing a journalist isn't always straightforward, and websites that publish articles about celebrities may face even greater difficulties. That's because journalists enjoy First Amendment protection, meaning they don't always need to prove their point. However, if they published something false or were reckless in doing so, then there could be grounds for misrepresentation.
One of the key legal questions in 50 Cent's case is whether he can prove that Kogan published her Shade Room photo intentionally and with reckless disregard. And according to an expert on this topic, it appears likely that he can.
The judge who decided the case said the photograph proved it wasn't taken at an unplanned event or on a random whim. It shows an acclaimed musician sitting next to Kogan in her office, taken during a business meeting with her and featuring her dressed professionally.
Kogan maintains that this use of his likeness is still an unauthorized exploitation and that he never gave permission for posting the picture. Furthermore, he contends that the image has become commercialized, leaving him open to ridicule and damaging criticism about himself.
He is seeking damages and other relief in his lawsuit, alleging that Kogan "intentionally, knowingly and willfully" violated his rights by publishing the photo. Additionally, it claims she used it to promote her business Perfection Plastic Surgery & Med Spas.
The suit alleges that Kogan "unlawfully and knowingly" encouraged Jackson to purchase her services, with an implied claim of penile enhancement treatment. Furthermore, it claims Kogan violated Jackson's privacy by using his likeness for commercial gain.
Last September, 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) filed a lawsuit against Angela Kogan and her companies Perfection Plastic Surgery & MedSpa and The Shade Room for false penis enlargement claims. But it appears that 50 has settled part of their disagreement with The Shade Room according to documents obtained by Los Angeles Magazine reporter Meghann Cuniff.
Kogan and her company shared a photo of the rapper at their clinic to suggest he had undergone some type of penis enlargement procedure. Though he denies having done so, he claims to have experienced much ridicule because the picture was posted online and used in stories about male sexual enhancement procedures.
In September, Kogan filed a lawsuit against her business and herself, alleging they misrepresented the photo. Furthermore, it alleges the use of the photograph damaged his reputation and infringed upon his right to control his name and image, according to Hip Hop DX.
Kogan and her company have denied any wrongdoing. She insisted that she did not take the photograph with a false representation and did not know that it was a customer seeking treatment at her clinic.
But the rapper still believes she used his photo without his consent. He maintains it was a form of exchange for him visiting her spa for a free treatment and taking part in the photo under the impression she was an admirer.
When The Shade Room shared the picture in August, it implied he had undergone some kind of penis enlargement procedure at the clinic and made him a target for ridicule. According to his lawsuit, circulation of the image damaged both his professional and personal reputation, violating his rights to control his name and image.
At the beginning of this month, The Shade Room and 50 agreed to settle their legal dispute; The rapper's attorney hasn't ruled out trial at some point in the future.
The Shade Room has become a highly-acclaimed celebrity gossip website that has become an institution. They post daily, providing updates and entertaining their followers with timely posts.
Angelica Nwandu founded the site in 2014 with the purpose of creating a space centered on Black celebrities. Before then, the gossip industry was dominated by white stars like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan while Black bloggers weren't well represented. Nwandu wanted people to learn about their favorite stars "for real", so her team does this "for real".
Since then, The Shade Room has become an authoritative news source, covering celebrity news from around the globe. Their content ranges from memes to intimate celebrity interactions and breaking stories.
Nwandu's staff posts daily, curating content tailored to their audience. As such, the site attracts young readers and boasts a large Twitter following of over 530,000. They have also amassed an impressive Instagram following of 6 million followers as well.
However, The Shade Room has faced criticism for its content - particularly in the comment section. The site is often accused of toxicity which can be especially hazardous when dealing with sensitive issues like sexual assault and discrimination.
It has become an issue with The Shade Room in particular, as they often post about topics which could be detrimental to marginalized groups. For instance, many were dissatisfied with their coverage of Zaya Wade - trans daughter of basketball stars Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union - who was featured prominently.
Once the story broke, The Shade Room did nothing to assist and instead posted negative reactions from celebrities. These remarks demonstrated an astounding level of ignorance and prejudice.
Many of the negative reactions were caused by commenters who felt entitled to make statements and spread hatred toward Zaya, a girl still in her early teenage years.
Finally, Cardi took to Twitter to accuse The Shade Room of posting only negative stories about her and preventing her from reaching out in person. She even threatened to sue the site; however, after several tweets and an emotional message she posted to TSR, they deleted what she claimed were harassment posts.
At the beginning of this month, rapper and mogul Curtis Jackson III (known professionally as 50 Cent) filed a lawsuit against a Miami-area plastic surgeon and med spa. Court documents reviewed by Billboard reveal that his photo was used in an article and social media post from The Shade Room suggesting he had penis enhancement surgery.
The Shade Room recently published an article about penis enhancement procedures featuring a picture of 50 Cent and Angela Kogan, owner of a cosmetic surgery clinic in Florida. The lead image featured the G-Unit star posing alongside Kogan and was split side-by-side with someone having their penis enhanced, complete with an "euphemistic eggplant" emoji covering any exposed groin area.
According to a court filing, Kogan never informed 50 Cent that she would be featuring his name or image on her website or social media posts - and for good reason: She didn't possess the legal authority to do so.
Kogan's lawyer contends that she never asked 50 Cent for permission to use the picture he took with her, and only agreed to take it because he seemed like a fan of her work. Furthermore, she maintains that 50 Cent never requested penis enlargement surgery and therefore Kogan should never have taken the photo in the first place.
Unfortunately, the lawsuit remains ongoing with no resolution in sight. Kogan and her business, Perfection Plastic Surgery & Med Spas, remain financially responsible.
Meanwhile, The Shade Room has taken down the article and its associated social media posts as well as any photos featured therein. Furthermore, they promised to apologize to 50 Cent for their actions; however, this has yet to be done.
In a separate blog post, The Shade Room's owner has condemned 50 Cent as "a disgrace" and stated that his picture with an eggplant emoji was meant to be offensive. The site said it removed both the story and photo after receiving notification from 50's team.