Why are musicians always the most hilariously touchy creatures? Foulmouthed, pocket-sized crooner Lily Allen is furious at unnamed New York Times editors for licensing photos of her to British tabloids — "cheap skanks," she says.
What about this photo that got Allen so furious? In her MySpace blog, Allen writes that the reporter, Melena Ryzik, was so darn nice! That, in turn, persuaded Allen to allow a Times photographer to take pictures of Allen in her home. Here's some of Allen's 1,226-word rant:
The reporter could not have been more lovely, she was called Milena and she did indeed come over to the house, I showed her round, she helped me pick out my outfit ( an ISSA patterned all in one, louboutins, hoop earrings just in case you were wondering) . Then she got out her Dictaphone, we did an interview for an hour, hour and a half and then went out for dinner. We went to this restaurant called the Wolsley and ordered a bottle of wine Iwasn't really drinking at the time , but I was having so much fun with Milena and I felt so relaxed and chilled I decided to let my barriers down a little. Anyway, we ate diner, I had Wiener Schnitzel she had Duck and we shared a pickled cucumber salad thing , some friends dropped by for a drink at the end of the meal , it was a lovely evening.
Allen got into a hissy when OK ran some of the pictures — giving the reader the impression that she had allowed the tabloid into her house. A Times lawyer apparently told Allen's people to go fly a kite:
I am sorry to say that we have no record or recollection of your client or her representatives ever requesting any restriction on our exploitation of the photographs. Indeed, it is not our general policy to accede to such restrictions, so it is certainly not something we would have agreed to without a written agreement confirming such arrangement.
As the copyright owner of thousands of photographs, a significant part of our business, like most news organizations, is the syndication of photos to third parties. This is very standard in the news business and I'm sorry that it comes as a surprise to your client. Under the circumstances, we are unable to provide you with the assurances you have requested.
I do hope, however, that our correspondence sheds some light on this issue for your client's future arrangements.
Allen finally winds down with what she really wanted: To get paid for getting photographed. Oh, now we get the "cheap skank" thing. Allen's only upset because she'd rather be an expensive one.
(Photo by David Azia/New York Times)