Rock singer Axl Rose’s lawyers called for a photography art show to close over photos and photo captions that his lawyers say are “false outrageous, false, fabricated and highly defamatory,” according to a letter from Rose’s lawyer posted by TMZ.
The photographer, Laura London, said the photos were taken when she was living nearby Rose and the exhibition was called “Once Upon a Time … Axl Rose was my neighbor,” according to Peta Pixel.
Specifically in question is a photo caption for this photo reading:
“Axl Rose was having a fight with his wife at the time, Erin Everly, and spray-painted graffiti of lyrics of one of his most popular songs ‘Sweet Child 0’ Mine,’ twisted into sick poetry and instead wrote ‘Sweet Child 0’ Die you R 1 of many nothing special.’ I looked at the graffiti and shot a roll of film to document it, even though it is not my usual style of image making. It was just too weird to pass up.”
Rose’s lawyer’s Sept. 27 letter describes the caption as “false and defamatory” and says Everly would “tell the truth and testify in any litigation Axl Rose may have against you and Laura London for this blatant and malicious defamation of his character.” TMZ reported that Everly also called for the claims to be taken down. That
According to Peta Pixel, the gallery hosting the exhibit, Coagula Curatorial, took down “the caption and the description of the exhibition,” but still planned on hosting the show. The gallery’s owner, Mat Gleason, is quoted as telling the Huffington Post Sept. 27 that the exhibit was “not changing one iota.” Huffington Post noted that Gleason “also blogs for” the Huffington Post.
iMediaEthics wrote to Coagula Curatorial asking if about the show and the legal complaints. Gleason told iMediaEthics by email that
“We held the show exactly as planned. The Cease and Desist letter asked us to cancel the performance of Laura London’s ‘Once Upon A Time’. The distinct difference between exhibitions and performances made it simple for the gallery to comply with the Cease and Desist letter.
“The Exhibition opened on September 29 and ran thru October 24.”
Gleason added that the gallery “removed two sentences from the online press release on our website to satisfy the demands of the cease and desist letter” and hasn’t had any “further complaints.”
Further, Gleason commented:
“The only thing I have taken away from this incident is to advise potential litigants to ask their lawyer ‘What is the difference between an art exhibition and a performance’ before they pay for a retainer.”
London told iMediaEthics by email that she can’t comment “because of the threat of a lawsuit by Mr. Rose’s attorney,” but that she has “never received any similar legal threats.”
iMediaEthics has written to Rose’s lawyer asking if Rose is satisfied with the gallery’s action, if any legal action is coming, and for any response to Gleason’s comments. We’ll update with any response.