Rap Song, Video Trigger Sharon Stone Lawsuit

Advertising Law

Accusing rapper Chanel West Coast of trying to capitalize upon her “extraordinary level of popularity and fame,” Sharon Stone filed suit against the musician over the song “Sharon Stoned.”

Released in 2018, the tune “gratuitously repeats the name ‘Sharon Stone’ 33 times and the name ‘Sharon’ 99 times,” according to the California state court complaint, with the first 30 seconds featuring no words other than “Sharon” or “Stone[d].”

Stone’s complaint detailed her status as “an internationally known film and television actress, celebrity, philanthropist and pop culture icon,” highlighting her acting awards and honors and characterizing her performance in the interrogation scene in Basic Instinct as “one of the most iconic performances in contemporary film.”

She also has a significant social media following, she told the court, with more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and has appeared on the covers of more than 300 popular magazines. But her “substantial time, energy, finances and entrepreneurial effort” are now being threatened by Chanel West Coast’s appropriation of her name, likeness, image, identity and persona, she alleged.

Stone alleged that Chanel West Coast has openly admitted to using her name, stating, “Obviously, I made a song with her name in it,” and that the rapper further traded on Stone’s fame and publicity rights with an accompanying music video that incorporated “the physical appearance, attributes, traits, looks, mannerisms, qualities, characteristics, clothing, treatment and imagery” of Stone in the Basic Instinct interrogation scene.

Again, the defendant made incriminating statements about the purpose of the video, Stone alleged, such as “I’m dressing up like Sharon Stone” and “We’ve got to redo some classic, iconic Sharon Stone movie scenes, you know?”

Citing violations of the Lanham Act and California’s common-law right of publicity, Stone asked the court for injunctive relief as well as damages and disgorgement.

To read the complaint in Stone v. Dudley, click here.

Why it matters: While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, Stone alleged that the defendant overdid it, with the gratuitous use of her name and video re-creating one of her most famous movie scenes, all without her permission.

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