Rights of Publicity: Coach Ordered to Compensate Soccer Player’s (Influencer) Girlfriend

Jul 10th '24

As demand for personal and professional growth increases, coaches offer specialized services to help clients manage finances, improve quality of life, and foster spiritual development. This variety highlights the search for tailored solutions to individual needs in Brazil. 


Carolina Fregulia is a Brazilian coach who claims to be specialized in “relationships and femininity”. Recently, she was ordered to compensate influencer Karoline Lima for using her image without authorization on social media. The coach sponsored posts about the influencer’s romantic relationship with Brazilian National Soccer Team’s player Éder Militão and promoted her course for single women, which promised to help them find “a happy and passionate relationship with a man of value”.


In the lawsuit, Lima claimed that Fregulia used her image on Instagram and Facebook without permission, to promote activities related to romantic relationships. Fregulia used the influencer’s image and story to illustrate her ideas about choosing a partner and included personal details such as pregnancy and the couple’s separation, with the intention of giving advice on long-lasting relationships.


The decision was held by the 1st Civil Special Court of Pinheiros, in São Paulo. Judge Cláudia Thome Toni determined that, despite the posts being shared by other sources and Lima not having proven that she suffered serious consequences from this event, the use of the influencer’s image by the coach was intended to promote her own page, which required explicit authorization from the influencer.


Judge Toni also emphasized that image rights are protected under Article 5(X) of the Federal Constitution. This article declares that intimacy, private life, honor, and image are inviolable and guarantees the right to compensation for material or moral damages resulting from their violation.


The ruling ordered Fregulia to remove Lima’s image from her profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms within 15 days of notification, under penalty of a fine of R$ 500 per post not removed, capped at R$ 5,000. Additionally, the coach was ordered to pay R$ 6,000 in moral damages, a sum to be adjusted for inflation and accrued with interest of 1% per month from the date of summons.


Source: Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA). Reposted. By Roberta Medina & Valdir Rocha.


About GALA

GALA is an alliance of lawyers located throughout the world with expertise and experience in advertising, marketing and promotion law. GALA provides a worldwide resource to individuals and corporations interested in answers to questions and solutions to problems involving the complex legal issues affecting advertisers and marketers. GALA, a network of independent law firms, is neither licensed nor authorized to render legal services.


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