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Judge refuses to dismiss 50 Cent penis enlargement lawsuit

By | Published on Tuesday 13 December 2022

50 Cent

If you were hoping that we could all stop talking about 50 Cent’s penis before Christmas, it looks like you’re going to be disappointed. A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit in which the rapper accuses a medical practitioner of falsely implying that her company performed enlargement surgery on his, well… you know.

The rapper – real name Curtis Jackson – sued Angela Kogan in September. He claimed that he assumed Kogan was just a fan who wanted a souvenir when he agreed to be photographed with her back in 2020. Therefore he was shocked when the picture was used on the social media of Kogan’s company, which trades as Perfection Plastic Surgery and MedSpa.

By using the photo in that way, Jackson claimed, Kogan was implying that he both used and endorsed her company’s services. Worse still, the photo was also used in an article on gossip site The Shade Room in which Kogan discussed the rise in plastic surgery for men, including penile enhancements.

The use of the photo alongside that interview – which Jackson argued was basically advertorial – again implied that he had used and endorsed Kogan’s company, and also possibly suggested he’d had surgery on his penis.

Kogan responded in October that Jackson’s claim to have simply been posing with a random fan when the offending photo was taken was erroneous, given that they were photographed together in her office when he and his girlfriend attended to receive free spa treatments.

The photo was taken with some kind of quid pro quo over the free treatments in mind, Kogan said. She added that her social media post never made any claim to have performed any sort of procedure on the rapper, but just thanked him for visiting her office.

She also denied that the image had been used elsewhere to imply that he had undergone any sort of surgery, but added that “even if the court were to determine that plaintiff’s name and image were used to directly promote a product or service, such use was made with the prior consent of plaintiff”.

Despite this, the judge overseeing the case – Robert N Scola Jr – this week ruled that Jackson’s claim is strong enough for the case to proceed to the discovery stage.

The judge questioned whether the way in which the photo had been used was comparable compensation for any treatments given for free. He also noted that, in her response, Kogan had failed to mention a screen capture video of her scrolling through the Shade Room article, which constituted another use of the image.

“They weakly argue that Jackson consented to the photo’s being uploaded on to Instagram while making no mention of Jackson’s consent/non-consent as to the screen capture video and the promotional value it doubtlessly served”, the judge wrote in his ruling.

“That omission is fatal”, he went on. “Because the defendants took it upon themselves to post the video onto their Instagram accounts, Jackson can plausibly argue that the defendants unauthorisedly used his likeness to promote their business regardless of whether the defendants had any role in TSR’s publication of either the tweet or the article”.

“The promotional value that the defendants have received from repeatedly sharing Kogan’s photo with Jackson is surely great”, he continued. “Although the court has no reason to doubt the quality of the ‘free medspa services’ that the defendants provided Jackson, the record is not sufficiently established to substantiate the defendants’ suggestion that their services equitably compensated Jackson”.

This does not mean that Jackson has won the case, but it does mean that it is a step closer to going to trial, and suggests that the judge is leaning towards siding with the rapper if it does.