France and Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery is seeking $1.5 million in damages from US cable news channel CNN for using his image in a story about the death of a woman in a cryotherapy chamber, his lawyer said on Friday.
CNN ran a story last month, exactly on October 28 about the death of Chelsea Ake-Salvacion, a 24-year-old American woman who was found dead in a cryotherapy tank in a Nevada spa.
CNN used a photo showing Franck Ribery’s head while the footballer used a similar machine, which many high-level sportsmen often do. An error on the cable network’s part, as they immediately took down the picture and post but that was not enough to stop people from noticing.
“It results from this publication that the photograph of Mr. Franck Ribery has been associated to a woman’s death related to the cryotherapy treatment,” Ribery’s lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa said.
“Mr. Franck Ribery, a world-famous professional soccer player and former member of the France national soccer team, has never given his permission and consent to the use of this photograph — and therefore of his image — related to the aforesaid publication.”
Brusa said the use of the photo was an “illegal association, which constitutes an infringement of the personality rights and the French image right, is a wrongdoing for which you are responsible and which obliges you to repair all the damages suffered by Mr. Franck Ribery and his family following this morbid publication and the public reactions provoked”.