Gigi Hadid has defended her decision to publish a paparazzi photo on her Instagram after her management informed her she was being “legally pursued” for using the image without a credit.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, the 23-year-old model explained how the image showed her standing outside an event. She said she had found it on Twitter with no photographer’s name attached to it.
Hadid, who has been physically handled by paparazzi in the past, took the opportunity to criticise how snappers work, accusing them of “legally stalking” celebrities such as herself.
“These people make money off us everyday, LEGALLY stalking us day in and day out,” she writes, before citing the mental and emotional toll this kind of attention takes.
“For someone to take a situation where I was trying to be open, and sue me for a photo I FOUND ON TWITTER (with no photographer's name on the image), for a photo he has already been paid for by whatever outlet put it online (!!!), is absurd,” Hadid continues, adding that she would’ve happily credited the photographer had she known who they were.
She concludes by calling for more privacy and respect from the paparazzi.
“I understand that this is how you make your living and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job.
“But there is a line. We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”
The post has been liked more than 750,000 times, garnering a wave of supportive comments from the model’s extensive fan base.
“It is very important that you start to open up about this situation and discuss it with an understanding view on both sides,” wrote one person, “continue doing this.”
“Just because you are a celeb doesn't mean anyone has right to invade your privacy,” added another.
Another of Hadid's famous friends also weighed in on the debate, with Kylie Jenner commenting: "Well said sister! Thank you."
Model and actor Ruby Rose added: "So much yes. It's a double standard I've never understood."
However, others disagreed, arguing that the incident is a clear example of copyright law.
“Come on people, everyone has to understand copyright law,” wrote one person.
In 2016, Hadid made headlines for responding to being ambushed by prankster Vitalii Sediuk at Milan Fashion Week.
The model was seen walking outside a fashion show with her sister Bella when Sediuk lifted her off the ground.
Video footage shows Hadid quickly elbowing him, after which he released his grip.
After being criticised for her response, Hadid wrote an essay for Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny Letter, describing the incident as "street harassment".
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