Bar Refaeli wins NIS 400k lawsuit for unauthorized broadcast of her

Judge orders Suny Electronics to pay Israeli supermodel NIS 400,000 for breach of contract and violation of her privacy.

Bar Refaeli head shot 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Bar Refaeli head shot 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Supermodel Bar Refaeli on Wednesday won a NIS 400,000 judgment against the local importer of Samsung products for live online broadcasts of her that were aired without her knowledge and outside the scope of a business contract.
Refaeli had originally sought NIS 4.4 million in damages from Suny Electronics Ltd. for breach of contract and violation of privacy. The 2006 ad campaign was for the Korean manufacturing giant.
Tel Aviv District Court Judge Avi Zamir dismissed some of Refaeli’s more serious allegations, including that Suny had aired the broadcasts in bad faith. He also dismissed all personal claims against marketing consultant Avi Zeitan, but ordered Suny to pay Refaeli NIS 150,000 in lawyers’ fees and court costs.
Next, he dismissed Suny’s NIS 2.015m. counterclaim of defamation against Refaeli for her having communicated directly with Samsung and alleging the importer’s misconduct.
The court found that Suny did not breach the scope of what it could air of Refaeli in bad faith, noting that at the last minute the firm made a handwritten addition to the contract expanding what it could broadcast. It sent this addition to Refaeli’s representative.
Because Suny did not draw the representative’s attention to the change, it did not become part of the parties’ discussions and understandings.
Suny was found to have violated the agreement and Refaeli’s privacy, even if somewhat unintentionally.
“The image of models, their voices, bodies and names are their personal assets, and no one has the right to use them for commercial purposes without their consent or without compensation,” Zamir said.
“These assets have the right to protection,” the judge continued.
“Every male or female model, even if they choose to expose themselves in an advertisement, even in the broadest and most revealing manner in any media, has the right not to have use made of these private assets beyond what was agreed and without their explicit consent.”