A New York Police Department has filed a lawsuit against Ryan Leslie for using his voice in a song without his permission.
Detective Luis Mortimer, a 15-year veteran, said his career was damaged when Leslie used a voice mail he left for the singer and rapper in his song, Joan of Arc.
Leslie’s ex-girlfriend, Australian supermodel Nicole Trunfio, called police on Leslie in 2011 when he allegedly wouldn’t stop calling her or knocking on her door.
Mortimer responded to the call, leaving a message for the 34-year-old with his contact information and asking Leslie or his attorney to return his call. Leslie then used the voice mail at the end of the song, which begins with, “I wake up to detect messages in my email/This what I get for messin’ wit pretty females.”
The song’s third verse also features the lyrics, “… And since when a birthday gift is harassment/A rose gold bracelet nothing subliminal/You called your lawyer up said my actions were criminal.”
According to the New York Post, 37-year-old Mortimer said he didn’t realize that his voice had been used in the song until a couple of months ago, when people started asking him about it.
“The song has caused him embarrassment and has damaged his credibility as a detective,” said Mortimer’s lawyer, Monica Kipiniak. Mortimer said Leslie’s unauthorized use of his voice violates his civil rights. He filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan Supreme Court last week and is seeking unspecified damages.
Earlier this year, the Grammy nominee was ordered by a federal court to pay a $1.2 million reward to the man who found his stolen laptop. Armin Augstein of Germany filed a lawsuit against Leslie after he refused to pay the $1 million reward he offered for the laptop. A court ruled in Augstein’s favor in November, but Leslie tried to fight the verdict. A second court ruled in Augstein’s favor in January.
What do you think of the lawsuit against Ryan Leslie?