An anonymous Ohio couple filed suit against Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble for allegedly being pictured on the cover of erotica novella A Gronking to Remember without their consent. The self-published work alludes to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski‘s touchdown celebration in which he spikes a football after making the play.
The couple claims pseudonymous author Lacey Noonan misappropriated one of their engagement photos for the book’s cover without their permission. While the couple placed the photo on the Internet, the suit states they did not upload it for “expropriation as the color photograph on the cover of these books.” The court documents add that the pair did not receive compensation for the use of their photograph, and goes on to call the subject matter of A Gronking to Remember “less than tasteful and is offensive,” causing them “ridicule and embarrassment.”
Noonan is named in the suit, along with Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, who are called out for allowing the sale of the book on their websites, both in paperback and digitally. The couple claims the defendants invaded their privacy under Ohio law, and seek $10,000 for statutory damages, recovery of punitive damages and court fees, and “injunctive relief to stop the wrongful use of their persona.”
Barnes & Noble does “not comment on litigation,” a spokeswoman for the company said. Apple and Amazon did not immediately respond for comment.