A Gronking to Remember, the first book in Lacey Noonan’s erotic novel series about Patriots tight end and white Shrek Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, arrived in January to thrill a nation hopped up on playoff football and Fifty Shades of Grey. But it did not thrill one couple, whose engagement photo was featured on its cover, next to Gronk’s approving, possibly horny smile.
The couple claims in an Ohio lawsuit that Noonan, as well as Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, who sold the book online, used the copyrighted photograph without permission, and profited by casting them in a “less than tasteful,” “offensive” light.
“The use of the Plaintiffs image has held them up to ridicule and embarrassment. This outrageous connection has been further aggravated when the book, with the Plaintiffs image, has been reproduced in the media nationwide. The book has been shown as a source of ribald humor on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as being displayed and read before the press at media day for the Super Bowl,” the lawsuit claims.
Hard to imagine anyone being offended and embarrassed by lines like, ““Suddenly, all I wanted to do was watch Gronk do his thang-thang in the zone place there. My vagina demanded it” or “Look at me, ungh, splitting my own seam, oohh… going deep. You like how I work my slot receiver, like a tight end. Like Gronkowski...”
Casting the husband as a Jets fan is going a little far, though. That’s probably defamation.
The case is now going to federal court, The Hollywood Reporter notes, where Apple and the other eBook sellers will likely raise a Communications Decency Act defense, arguing that they’re not liable for the things authors self-publish on their platforms.
It’s also still not clear how Noonan got the photo of the anonymous couple in the first place, or what damages were actually caused by its use on the cover of a book about a football-playing “stone god” and his “huge stone pillar of a cock.”