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Hollywood’s Digital Botox Dilemma

Selena Gomez will be seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages in a lawsuit with implication for A.I.-related legal battles to come.
Selena Gomez will be seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages in a lawsuit with implication for A.I.-related legal battles to come. Photo: Gotham/GC Images
Eriq Gardner
September 11, 2023

A decade ago, the leaders of the Chinese company Forgame encountered a familiar business challenge as gamers shifted from playing web-based games, which Forgame specialized in, to more casual games on mobile. In response, C.E.O. Dongfeng Wang decided to open American and European divisions, leading to the 2017 launch of Clothes Forever: a Western-friendly mobile game that allowed would-be fashionistas to dress up globetrotting cultural icons like Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift. A surefire hit. Just one big problem…

In 2020, the influential musician and actress Selena Gomez sued the company, alleging they ripped off her identity and likeness for the game. The case has flown under the radar, but the outcome of the Los Angeles trial, which begins Oct. 3, could be monumental. The star herself will testify, along with two experts who will discuss what top-flight brands like Adidas, Louis Vuitton, and Coach pay for her endorsement. The latest filing reveals that Gomez will be seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages for the image below on the left.