NPR logo Mystery Woman On Album Cover Sues Vampire Weekend, Label For $2 Million


Mystery Woman On Album Cover Sues Vampire Weekend, Label For $2 Million

Ezra Koenig, of Vampire Weekend, in front of the album artwork for the band's "Contra" album, at a music festival in Glastonbury, England. Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe hide caption

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Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe

Earlier this year, Vampire Weekend released its most-recent album, called Contra.

On the cover, there is a striking photograph of a beautiful young woman, sporting a polo shirt with a popped collar. Her strawberry-blonde hair is tousled. Her bright blue eyes are dilated.

"Who is she?" I wondered.

Everyone wondered.

Thanks to a new lawsuit, we have an answer.

According to TMZ, Ann Kirsten Kennis, a former model, has sued Vampire Weekend, photographer Tod Brody, and XL Recordings for $2 million, alleging they used the image without her knowledge. She also claims someone forged her signature on a release form.

Before and after the album release, in interviews and Twitter posts, Vampire Weekend was cryptic about the identity of the woman on the Contra cover.

In 2009, for instance, Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal spoke with Ezra Koenig, the band's lead singer.

He said "the picture is an actual candid document of a person in New York City in 1983 — those are the clothes she was wearing and how she did her hair that day. We didn't hire one of our friends to throw on a vintage Polo shirt or anything."

"Who is she?" Dombal asked. (I told you everyone wondered that.)

"I don't want to give away all the details about the photo just yet, but I learned that she's now living in Malibu," Koenig replied.