EXCLUSIVE: Kanye West Music Video Model Loses Lawsuit Over “Jeen-yuhs”

Kanye West

Cynthia Love sued Coodie and Chike for showing her “darkest moments” in the Kanye West documentary “Jeen-yuhs.”

An Illinois judge dismissed a model’s lawsuit against filmmakers Coodie and Chike over their Kanye West documentary Jeen-yuhs. According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Judge Steven Seeger rejected all counts of Cynthia Love’s complaint in a ruling on Tuesday (February 27).

Love sued Coodie and Chike for defamation, false light, unlawful publicity, intentional infliction of emotional distress and more. Love, who appeared in Kanye’s “Through the Wire” music video, accused Coodie and Chike of capturing her “darkest moments” in the Jeen-yuhs documentary. Judge Seeger determined there was nothing wrong with the filmmakers using old footage of Love.

“Plain and simple, any allegations about Love in the Jeen-yuhs docuseries are true,” Seeger wrote. “The docuseries includes real-world clips of Love, without doctoring the content or adding any false material. It shows true clips of a real event.”

He continued, “Holding up a mirror isn’t defamation. Holding up a 20-year-old picture isn’t defamation, either. They both reflect reality, like it or not. But defamation requires falsity. The Jeen-yuhs video accurately portrays Love in a moment of time several decades ago. The video does not suggest that Love remains in an intoxicated state, or anything of that sort. The video shows a past truth, without suggesting that the past is the present. The footage is historically accurate, so Love’s defamation claims cannot get off the ground. “

Judge Seeger saw no merit in Love’s false light allegations.

“Love runs into trouble with the first element of a false light claim,” he wrote. “She concedes that the depiction of her in Jeen-yuhs was true at the time of filming. So, Love was not placed in a false light. She was placed in a true light. The fact that the light might have been unflattering doesn’t mean that it was false. It’s a false light claim, not an unflattering light claim … Again, Love may prefer to leave her past in the rearview mirror (and off Netflix). But Jeen-yuhs does not contain false statements about her. Without falsity, it’s light’s out for the false light claim.”

The judge also struck down Love’s right of publicity claims. Judge Seeger agreed with Coodie and Chike, who argued they had an exemption to use Love’s identity without her consent.

Jeen-yuhs falls under the ‘audio-visual work’ exemption, but does not fall within the ‘public affairs’ exemption, to the Illinois Right of Publicity Act,” the judge wrote. “But falling within one exemption is enough to sink the claims.”

Judge Seeger denied Love’s other claims, including civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment. He found no proof of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“The Court concludes that the video clips in question could not give rise to a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress,” he wrote. “The clips show Love doing a little spin, apparently in an inebriated state, inside a barbecue restaurant. That’s not the type of image that is ‘beyond the bounds of human decency and be considered intolerable in a civilized community.’”

Coodie and Chike’s Jeen-yuhs documentary dropped in 2022. The three-part film is available to stream on Netflix.