WWE star Randy Orton was recently involved in a controversy over the usage of tattoos. A Tattoo artist Catherine Alexander is set to go to trial after years of waiting when she brought forward a lawsuit against WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd., and Yuke’s LA Inc. But, it seems the date has been pushed back. Recently Randy Orton’s text message about WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was also revealed.
Randy Orton’s trial date has been postponed due to COVID-19
Originally, the lawsuit was set to go to trial on January 31, 2022, but has been postponed again. The U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) Judge Staci M. Yandle postponed it because of the current surge of the omicron coronavirus pandemic in this district. She stated that a jury cannot be safely impaneled and trial cannot proceed as currently scheduled.
Alexander stated in the lawsuit that she performed the tattoo work on Randy Orton between 2003 and 2008. She believes they “are easily recognized by his fans and members of the public.” WWE originally used her work for faux sleeves and was later portrayed in a video game and she believes she should receive money from those consumer products.
Alexander alleged she contacted WWE in 2009 and the company offered her a $450 fee for the rights to the designs. She turned down an offer from WWE. The legal team for Alexander stated she “did not grant any permission to WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce any of Plaintiff’s designs.”
When the lawsuit does go to trial, the court will decide whether the defendants had the right to use the work in the game as a copyright fair use or if Alexander has grounds to receive money for her work being used.