Marini Naturals CEO Michelle Ntalami has taken legal action against South African-based TV channel M-Net, alleging unauthorized use of her likeness in a reality TV show.
Filed at the High Court in Nairobi, the lawsuit names Minne Kariuki Njuguna, Young Rich Television Ltd, M-NET, and D&R Studios Ltd as defendants.
Ntalami asserts that during an event at the Tribe Hotel on November 8 of the previous year, which she attended at the invitation of Susan Kaittany for the launch of the Sip & Scent event, there was a film crew present.
She claims to have inquired about an actor’s agreement or consent form from crew members of Young Rich Television and D&R Studios, but was not provided one.
She believed she would receive the agreement during post-production.
Upon the launch of the Real Housewives of Nairobi show on February 23, in which Ntalami featured in Episodes 1 and 2, as well as a Reunion episode, she discovered her appearances extended to commercials, advertisements, and various social media platforms of M-NET and D&R Studios.
Following the launch, Ntalami approached Kaittany regarding any contracts, image rights, or consent agreements.
Kaittany allegedly admitted to having entered into an agreement and receiving compensation for her appearances.
Ntalami contends that subsequent to the show’s launch, Minne engaged in bullying behavior towards her, using malicious language on the show, television and radio programs, and social media.
This defamation, Ntalami asserts, was intended to harm her business and has resulted in significant damages.
Ntalami further claims that Minne sought to exploit her social influence and reputation for commercial gain by producing and wearing a T-shirt featuring defamatory words.
She is pursuing general damages for commercial exploitation and aggravated damages for the reiteration of the defamatory statements.
On September 25, Ntalami and Kaittany wrote to the Communications Authority of Kenya, urging an investigation into M-NET’s content.
They alleged that the Real Housewives of Nairobi program featured defamatory, obscene, and offensive content, which M-NET profited from
and utilized for commercial purposes.