(NEW YORK) — Actor Ray Liotta claims in a lawsuit that he’s never heard of a skincare company that he alleges is using his face in a “before-and-after” advertising photo.
Liotta alleges Nerium International violates his privacy rights under California law and he accuses the firm of false endorsement and unfair competition under federal law. Liotta seeks compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction against Nerium, according to his lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court this week.
“I’ve never even heard of Nerium, let alone used their products,” Liotta said in a statement after filing the lawsuit. “They can deal with these doctored photos in court.”
Liotta, known for his role in the films Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, accuses Nerium of generating “revenue using a product-based pyramid scheme,” his lawsuit states.
He claims Nerium sells its products to “Nerium Partners,” sales agents who recruit new partners “in an ever-growing pyramid,” the lawsuit states.
Nerium, based in Addison, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, states that it does not pay celebrities to endorse its products, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement provided to ABC News, a spokeswoman for the company said, “Nerium was surprised to learn through the media about a lawsuit filed by Mr. Ray Liotta. We take claims against our company seriously and we are committed to investigating this matter promptly.”
Around Oct. 13, 2013, Liotta claims in his complaint that as part of a marketing campaign, Nerium, “by and through its agents, distributed photographs and related materials that identify, name, and/or describe, and purport to show [Liotta] ‘before-and-after’ using Nerium AD skin cream.”
In the before photo, Liotta’s skin is blotchy while in the “after” photos his skin appears to be smoother.
Several exhibits in the court filing are photos of the same “before-and-after” photo shared by individuals on social media site Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
The actor said he did not authorize the company or any of its agents to use his “name, likeness, image, identity or persona in connection with marketing Nerium’s products or for any purpose whatsoever,” and he was not contacted to obtain permission for the use of his name or image for Nerium, the suit states.
“When someone creates a false endorsement using Ray Liotta’s name or likeness, they can expect legal action,” Liotta’s attorney Gary Hecker in a statement.
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