Kat Von D Speaks Out on Photographer Who Sued Her – ‘He Saw This as an Opportunity to Gain Publicity’
In a new video, Kat Von D breaks her silence about the photographer who sued her now that she has emerged victorious in her recent legal battle. The lawsuit focused on a tattoo she once created that found its visual basis in a portrait of the famous jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Von D, the beauty entrepreneur, singer and tattoo artist many know from the reality shows LA Ink and Miami Ink, suggests the verdict is a good thing for tattooers everywhere.
The original Davis photo was captured by photographer Jeffrey Sedlik, who is the man who sued Von D. He argued that the tattoo violated his copyright of the image. But earlier this month, a jury disagreed, siding with Von D and bringing the legal battle to an end.
Now, in her filmed message, Von D says she still feels traumatized by the process. She also offers up some barbs for Sedlik while hinting that she's forgiven him, in line with her recently reignited Christian beliefs. "Sending you all lots of love," she ends the video, "especially the photographer that was suing me." (Watch the full clip below.)
"I was getting sued by a photographer for a tattoo that I did about seven years ago," Von D explains in the video. "It has been a really heavy week. … This has been going on for the last two years. I think I'm still a little bit traumatized by the entire experience. … It was just an extremely painful process, and I'm so, so grateful that it's over."
Kat Von D Video - Jan. 30, 2024
She says, "I really didn't talk about this publicly because it's not something you wanna bring your followers along with — this isn't a fun adventure. … It's hard to make this video because, honestly, if you don't have anything nice to say about somebody, just don't say anything at all. And I just don't have anything nice to say about this photographer."
Von D continues, "I truly believe that he saw this as an opportunity to gain publicity and to gain a lot of money. And, unfortunately for him, it's backfired. I have no idea what his lawyer fees are, but I know what mine are. And now he may have to have the burden of paying for those. I know that he's going to appeal this until the end of time if he can, because his ego just won't allow him to let it go. And I think perhaps that's probably the worst punishment of all for what he's done. Because I can't imagine having to live with just, that kind of heaviness."
She adds, "For me, I want nothing more than just to let this go and just move on. But I knew that if I didn't fight the effects of something like this would be so awful for not just tattooers, but artists across the board. As well as people who get tattooed, and people who love fan art. I'm an artist who has been ripped off many times and has had big corporations like, mass-produce things that I've created, and gotten rich off of it. And this is not that. I really don't believe that's what tattooing is. … This isn't me putting an image on a T-shirt or on a poster and striking a deal with Walmart and selling it."
Von D says, "I think this photographer doesn't really understand how much negativity he's doing. He's inflicting so much negativity onto not just himself, and not just me or my team of lawyers — all of the people involved. You know, the jury — some of the jury members traveled like three hours every day to sit there and listen to this guy talk about himself for seven hours."
She concludes, "I'm really glad it's over for now. I hope tattooers aren't discouraged by a lawsuit like this. Because to have to kill like the spirit of the creative process, and the gift that we're able to give the people that we tattoo — through our interpretations of artwork and photographs and whatever else, ideas — it would just be such a sad thing to happen."
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Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner