Rick Wilkerson, Jr. — the Miami pastor who married Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West — is in the middle of a legal tussle with local muralists who are seeking damages for the unauthorized use of their art to promote Wilkerson’s Vous Church.
Here’s what you need to know: Wilkerson’s growing ministry was renting out the auditorium at Jose de Diego Middle School in Miami to hold services. Many talented artists had voluntarily painted murals at the school to reportedly raise money for the arts program. Vous Church used images of the art as the backgrounds of invitations and fliers to promote the church — both physically and on social media.
The artists were not asked, credited, or compensated — causing seven people (including artists Typoe, Bikismo and Ahol Sniffs Glue) to sue Wilkerson.
The posts have since been deleted.
According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, the art was never designed for “a well-funded celebrity church brand or its prosperous pastors.”
In an interview with the Miami Herald back in October, Miami artist Typoe said:
“This is my career. It’s like if you were to walk into a CVS and steal a whole aisle of Cheerios. There would need to be accountability.”
Wilkerson told the newspaper:
“We’ve had this challenge in front of us, and I would just like to say that we love artists. We would never want to compromise anyone’s work and 100 percent want to settle everything.”
It doesn’t sound like anything was done maliciously, but what’s done is done.
No word yet on if the suit will go to trial.
[Image via WENN.]