Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, has been ordered to pay a substantial sum to his ex-girlfriend Carliz de la Cruz after losing a lawsuit over the unauthorized use of her voice in various songs and promotions. This case has been one of the most talked-about events in the entertainment world this year.

In March 2023, Carliz de la Cruz, who was in a relationship with Bad Bunny from 2011 to 2016, filed a lawsuit against him. According to Puerto Rican news outlet NotiCel, the lawsuit claimed that Bad Bunny used a recording of her voice saying the phrase “Bad Bunny baby” in songs, concerts, TV ads, and social media clips without her permission.

Initially, Bad Bunny’s team offered De la Cruz $2,000 for the use of the recording, but she refused the offer. In response, Bad Bunny’s legal team tried to move the case to state courts citing copyright concerns. However, De la Cruz, who is a lawyer, argued that the case should remain in Puerto Rican court.

The court ruled in favor of De la Cruz and ordered Bad Bunny to pay $40 million in compensation, according to El Diario NY. The lawsuit stated that the publication of the recording without De la Cruz’s consent constituted an act of gross negligence and bad faith.

Bad Bunny and De la Cruz began their relationship in 2011 after meeting at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo. They both worked at the Enoco supermarket chain, where De la Cruz was responsible for scheduling Bad Bunny’s parties and handling his invoices and contracts while he created music. In 2015, he asked her to record the phrase “Bad Bunny baby,” which she created and recorded on her phone.

In 2016, Bad Bunny included the recording in his songs “Pa Ti” and “Dos Mil 16,” and continued to use it in concerts, promotions, TV, radio, and social media. In 2022, a representative from his team offered De la Cruz $2,000 for the recording for his album “Un Verano Sin Ti,” but she refused the offer. Despite this, the song was released with the audio without her consent.

The lawsuit also highlighted the emotional impact on De la Cruz, who has received direct comments on her social media and in public about the phrase “Bad Bunny, baby.” This has caused her worry, anguish, intimidation, and anxiety.

Bad Bunny has yet to issue a statement regarding the verdict. Ramón G. Vela Córdova, an intellectual property attorney based in San Juan, told VICE: “You [Bad Bunny] basically stopped using this recording after 2016. The relationship ended, and you stopped using it. And then, suddenly, in 2022, you wanted to use it. You tried to get permission, but you didn’t, and you used it anyway. That just doesn’t look good.”


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