Rihanna sued over lipstick

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Rihanna could face a damaging lawsuit after a fan claimed she caught herpes from a free lipstick sample at a Rihanna concert. It's a warning of the dangers of singers broadening their remit into the areas of product endorsement.

Starkeema Greenridge claims that she contracted the virus after trying the singer's Riri Woo lipstick from the MAC range, handed out at the Rihanna concert in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in early May. Her lawyers allege that the salesperson "didn't use a fresh or new lipstick tube, but rather one that had been used for other patrons".

Two days after the concert Greenidge found a cold sore on her lips. She is concerned that other fans may have the same problem. "This is going to happen over and over again if nothing is done," she said. "I wasn't able to work for two weeks. It cost me a lot of money."

The case could prove costly for Rihanna. In the meantime the singer is herself pursuing a legal case relating to her brand image. Rihanna is suing the UK fashion chain Topshop for around £5 million in compensation after they used her image on a T-shirt without permission.

Rihanna's people told Topshop to cease and resist. Topshop, with a show of plucky British defiance that may yet prove costly, declined. It might yet come to high-powered US lawyers taking on UK copyright law. A spokesperson for the singer said, "What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, 'Go to hell. We don't care; we are going to continue selling you.'"

They will have a tough opponent in the form of Topshop CEO Philip Green. He is notorious for his history of corporate tax avoidance, but also for his love of celebrities. Perhaps a compromise could be reached whereby Rihanna gets her £5 million but shows up at one of Green's lavish parties.

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