Kendall and Kylie Jenner have fired back in a lawsuit filed against them by a photographer who says they wrongfully used his image of rapper Tupac Shakur, suggesting that the photographer has committed fraud himself.
In a response to photographer Michael Miller’s lawsuit filed Friday, the Jenners say that Miller “has not demonstrated ownership of valid copyright registrations for the photographs of Tupac Shakur.”
They also accuse Miller of monkeying around when it comes to the Copyright Office.
“Plaintiff is barred from obtaining any relief due to its fraud, including but not limited to, committing a fraud upon the Copyright Office,” the answer to Miller’s complaint reads.
Miller filed his lawsuit in July, saying that they ripped off his photos of Tupac Shakur for their since-pulled line of shirts.
The suit, filed in federal court in California on Friday, says that Michael Miller — described as “a renowned professional photographer with a remarkable body of work” — “at no time sought to associate his work with Kendall or Kylie or any of their companies.”
And with good reason — an association with Kendall is particularly problematic given that she was complicit in not one but two of the worst public relations disasters in recent memory,” the suit continues, in reference to Kendall Jenner’s widely reviled, protest-themed Pepsi ad and promotion of the doomed Fyre Festival.
Nonetheless, the suit continues, the Jenners misappropriated two photos he took of Shakur.
The Jenners “at no times notified Miller that they intended to exploit his photography, let alone obtained his authorization,” the suit continues. “This unauthorized usage constituted copyright infringement, amongst other things.”
The lawsuit isn’t the only headache that the T-shirt line has brought upon the Jenners. The reality TV duo pulled the T-shirt line — which featured images of Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Ozzy Osbourne and other artists — shortly after introducing it, after widespread criticism.
One of the most vocal critics was Voletta Wallace, the mother of Smalls, who accused the Jenners of using her deceased son’s image without permission.
“I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this,” Wallace wrote on Instagram. “The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.