The father of late Mexican-American entertainer Selena Quintanilla is threatening to sue a supporter of President Donald Trump over a planned gathering around her statue in Corpus Cristi, Texas.
Abraham Quintanilla Jr. sent a cease and desist letter to Joe Michael Perez after advertisements on Facebook showed he is organizing a rally planned at her statue, according to TMZ. In a photo, Perez is seen standing next to Selena’s statue, which has a red Trump cap on its head.
“In cultivating the legacy of Selena, the Quintanillas have never associated Selena with partisan politics,” said Quintanilla lawyer Michael Trauben in a statement to TheWrap. “Now, without ever seeking, let alone obtaining, the Quintanillas’ approval, this individual, who has no affiliation or connection with the family, has appropriated the name, image and likeness of Selena for self-aggrandizement, including through the use of merchandise and apparel depicting Selena.
“Misappropriating Selena for personal profit and recognition is unlawful. This individual clearly believes he stands to personally profit by drawing attention to himself and his business operations and agenda through the unlawful exploitation of, and misleading association with, Selena. He outwardly embraces the recognition he is gaining through this unlawful exploitation and is seeking to personally profit from these illegal acts,” Trauben went on.
He concluded, “In addition to the Quintanillas having never placed Selena’s name or identity into partisan politics, they have also never attempted to interfere with anyone’s speech, and do not seek to do so here. Rather, they are simply demanding that this individual cease and desist from these blatantly transparent acts of unlawful exploitation and illicit profiteering off of Selena’s name, image and likeness, whether under the guise of gaining publicity for political campaign donations or otherwise.”
In a statement to TMZ, Perez said, “We are going to continue with our gathering on July 11 at the Selena Statue in Corpus Christi, Texas to show support for Trump for all races and ethnicities.”
Selena is heralded as one of the most impactful entertainers. She gained chart-topping success in the 90s with her Latin pop music before being shot and killed in 1995 at the age of 23.