Rod Stewart sues area photographer

MANASSAS — The Los Angeles lawyer representing a Gainesville woman in a lawsuit against singer Rod Stewart said the entertainer used two of her photos for promotional items without her permission and that a counter lawsuit will likely be dismissed.

Pat Morris-Evans of 7823 Cerro Gordo Road in western Prince William County is a professional photographer and, according to the lawsuit, took photographs of the singer while her daughter, Laura Morris, was producing a music video. According to reports, Stewart’s lawsuit claims Morris-Evans “surreptitiously” took the photos. However, Kenneth A. Feinswog, Morris-Evans’ attorney, said that is not the case.

Morris-Evans filed her lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Monday alleging copyright infringement. She claims her photos were used by Stewart for T-shirts and program books without her knowledge.

“She did not do this surreptitiously, as it has been stated,” Feinswog said. “There were discussions regarding the use of the photos, but the parties never reached an agreement. She never gave them permission for the use of her photos.”

In the counter suit it states that Morris-Evans persuaded Stewart’s manager to purchase two of the photographs and paid her $1,000 to publish the photos in a concert tour book, according to the Associated Press. Stewart claims Morris-Evans and her daughter later tried to extort $500,000 from him through a settlement.

Feinswog said no conversation to purchase the two photos took place; there was no agreement, and no money exchanged hands.

He would not say how his client became aware that her pictures had been used on promotional items, and he did not know if the pictures were still in use.

The two photos had been copyrighted Oct. 25, 2001, according to the lawsuit.

“She [Morris-Evans] was surprised that Rod Stewart approached the matter in this way,” Feinswog said, regarding the counter lawsuit. “Their complaints make no sense. I expect their suit to be dismissed.”

Feinswog said he does not yet know how much money his client lost from the use of her photos. The lawsuit states an amount has not yet been determined, but could be in excess of $750,000.

He is requesting a jury trial; a court date has not yet been set.

Morris-Evans would not comment on the matter, and officials of Clear Channel Entertainment Inc., also named in the lawsuit, would not return calls.

Staff writer Trina Goethals can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 121.

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