Well, after months of speculation, we finally know who the wide-eyed WASP-y girl on the cover of Vampire Weekend's Contra album is — but the guys in VW probably would have preferred if everyone were kept in the dark.
That's because on Wednesday, the blond, Polo-wearing woman on the cover of the album — her name is Ann Kirsten Kennis, btw — filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming the band (or, as they're referred to in the suit, "Vampire Weekend, Inc") and photographer Tod Brody used her image without her permission.
At the heart of the suit is a photographic release VW obtained from Brody, one Kennis claims contains her forged signature. Kennis — who is suing the band and the photographer for more than $2 million, on the grounds that neither party bothered to verify the legitimacy of the release — also said she took the original photo back in 1983 but had no idea it was featured on the cover of Contra until the band began promoting the album in November.
On Thursday (July 15), an officer in the Public Information office of the L.A. Superior Court verified to MTV News that the suit had been filed. A spokesperson for Vampire Weekend's label, XL Recordings, told MTV News she had no comment about the suit.
Contra was released back in January and debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart. Back in October, the band stopped by the MTV Newsroom to talk about the album — and the iconic cover image — but they played things close to the vest:
"We haven't met her, we don't know her," bassist Chris Baio laughed.
"We're not being very specific about it. The picture is from 1983, but the last album cover was from 2006, and they kind of look like they both inhabit the same world," frontman Ezra Koenig added. "When we saw this image, we just found it very striking. And part of it is the look on her face. It's not about the color of her hair, or the fact that she's wearing a Polo shirt. What makes it interesting is her face."
What do you think about the lawsuit against Vampire Weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments.