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Jay-Z is suing famed photographer Jonathan Mannion for allegedly exploiting his name and likeness by selling expensive merchandise and pictures of Hov from when he was an unknown kid.

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Updated June 16th, 2021 – 8:58 AM*******

Jonathan Mannion’s legal team has now issued a statement on behalf of the famed photographer following Jay-Z’s file to sue. Reps for Mannion told TMZ:

End Update*******

Jay-Z has always been in control of his destiny, his brand, and everything related to the empire he’s built by hand. When it comes to pictures of Jay, you’ll never see the paparazzi posting many, if any, images of him or Bey or the family. That is, in part, because his business is set up to control all of that. If Hov lets you around to take pictures of him, you know to keep the pictures close and use them how he intended.

According to TMZ, Hov isn’t pleased with how Jonathan Mannion has handled pictures he paid him to take and others he took on the side, and because of that, he is taking him to court.

The music mogul is suing Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, claiming Mannion’s exploiting Jay-Z’s name and image without the rapper’s consent. In docs, obtained by TMZ, Jay says Mannion has Hova’s name and likeness plastered all over his website and sells photos of Jay-Z for thousands of dollars.

Problem is … Jay-Z says he never gave Mannion permission to do so — and he claims when he asked Mannion to quit using his image, the photog demanded tens of millions of dollars. Jay claims Mannion is making an “arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases.

Jay claims it’s “ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a formerly-unknown Black teenager, now wildly successful, as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can produce. It stops today.”

Jay and Mannion’s relationship dates back to 1996 when the rapper hired Mannion to shoot the cover for “Reasonable Doubt.” According to Jay, Mannion also took hundreds of pics of Roc-A-Fella Records that were used for different album covers of the years- all of which Mannion was paid for.

One thing Hov doesn’t play about is his brand and most certainly not disrespect. Jonathan has only received praise from his collaborators, so hopefully, this dispute can be resolved and the asking for money to stop selling the items was an error on his lawyer.

At the end of the day, if this goes the distance, it would be groundbreaking for photographer and musician relationships going forward.


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