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Placebo cover star threatens to sue

By | Published on Tuesday 26 June 2012

Placebo LP Cover

David Fox, who, as a twelve year old, appeared on the cover of Placebo’s 1996 eponymous debut album, has announced that he is planning to sue the band for using the image without his consent. Now 28, Fox says that the bullying he suffered following the album’s success caused him to drop out of school and has had a detrimental effect on his adult life.

Speaking to The Times, he said: “What had happened was my brother had just passed away, and my cousin came up from London to see me. He was a professional photographer, and he took some photographs of my family for his personal use. He brought up all his equipment and got me to do a few poses outside”.

A month later, he says, his cousin called him to tell him he was going to be on an album cover. “Within a week it was out in the shops. It was in Virgin, it was in HMV, it was in Tesco, it was all over the place. I was watching ‘Eastenders’ with my mum and I saw one of the billboards by the Tube station and it had my face on there. Nobody wanted me on their side or anything like that. Even the teachers used to pull me aside and ask me about this CD cover”.

He says he now plans to use his mother’s savings and “every bit of spare money” in order to launch a lawsuit against the band next month. Though it’s not clear as yet on what grounds, given that the copyright in the image will have initially belonged to his cousin, and if he sues on privacy grounds, that may require also taking action against his relation.

Meanwhile, Placebo’s management, Riverman, told The Times that Fox should direct any claims to EMI’s Virgin, which released the record, rather than the band themselves.