With claims of extortion and "troll-ish" behavior, NFL superstar Odell Beckham Jr. is taking the paparazzi to court.
According to a lawsuit filed in New Orleans Civil District Court this week by the current Giants and former LSU star, he received a demand letter from Splash News & Picture Agency calling for $40,000 over the use of a copyrighted photo on his personal Instagram account.
The payment was called for as "full and final settlement" over the alleged infringement.
The lawsuit was filed preemptively after it was learned the photo company had sent similar demands to celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, and later took them to court when they refused to pay. Beckham's camp said it felt a similar lawsuit was "imminent." Beckham is listed as the plaintiff.
The image, still online, was posted on Oct. 26. It shows the New Orleans native outside of his home in New Jersey after undergoing surgery for a fractured ankle suffered during a Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers.
The image was taken by a man identified in the lawsuit as Miles Diggs and posted by Beckham with the caption "I always find a way." Diggs is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
It was one of the first images of Beckham after a six-day stay at a hospital. The lawsuit alleges Diggs used a telephoto lens to take photographs through a security fence. Beckham is shown in a red hoodie and shorts with his back turned as he approaches the open trunk of a vehicle. He's using crutches and wearing a walking boot on his left leg.
It's not explicitly stated how Beckham obtained the photograph.
"There is nothing creative or distinctive about the point-and-shoot, ambush-style photos, except that they feature Beckham," the lawsuit reads.
"The audacity of Splash News to demand payment from Beckham -- the very person who provided value to the photos -- is shocking, reeks of bad faith, and emphasizes the utterly troll-ish behavior."
The images were licensed to websites such as The Daily Mail and TMZ. The copyright for the photos was granted on Jan. 9, more than two months after Beckham's post, according to the lawsuit, and the demand letter for the payment was issued six days later.
Former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. could be seen roaming the Tiger Stadium sidelines on Saturday, dressed in bright yellow and showing off his …
The lawsuit argues that sharing one of the images does not negate the value of the 12 that were published, and that since they were taken in his private driveway without his knowledge, he should be granted damages.
The lawsuit calls for a trial by jury, and is seeking for the photo company to be found guilty of intrusion of solitude, public disclosure of private facts, and appropriation of Beckham's likeness. He's seeking legal fees as well as additional damages deemed appropriate.
Beckham owns a home in New Orleans and starred at Isidore Newman School before playing at LSU from 2011-13. He was selected No. 12 overall by the New York Giants in the 2014 NFL draft.
The lawsuit claims Louisiana has jurisdiction because the company is "purposefully availing themselves of the privilege of conducting business activities within and with respect to the State of Louisiana." It also notes that the websites where the images were licensed are accessible in Louisiana.
Splash News & Picture Agency is based in Los Angeles and describes itself as "the world's leading celebrity and breaking news agency."
Beckham is represented by New Orleans attorneys Daniel Davillier and Charlene Gibson of Davillier Law Group, as well as Lesli D. Harris and Matthew S. Almon of Stone Pigman Walther Wittman.
Stone Pigman is one of New Orleans' highest profile law firms. Their clients include Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson.
Former LSU standout and New Orleans native Odell Beckham Jr. gave a shoutout to his high school — with his feet.