Nusret Gökçe, popularly known as Salt Bae, is being sued for $5 million by a Brooklyn-based artist William Hicks, who claims the social media star has used his artwork without permission all over the world, the New York Post has reported.
According to details, Brooklyn-based artist William Hicks filed a lawsuit filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 12, suing the renowned Turkish butcher, chef, and restaurateur for $5 million in damages after Gökçe reportedly printed his art on menus, takeout bags, and signs at international Nusr-Et Steakhouse locations in Turkey, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates without permission. Hicks claimed that Gökçe never sought a license to use the artwork and has yet to compensate him for use of the copyright.
“Defendants also unilaterally decided that they would instead unlawfully adapt, create, and distribute unauthorized derivative versions of the original works … to display in Nusr-et steakhouse locations in at least Abu Dhabi, Ankara, Etiler, Mykonos, and Bodrum Yalikavak Marina,” read the court documents.
Hicks allegedly sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they stop using the original artworks in April 2020, but Gökçe and the companies “doubled down on their already widespread infringement, expanding their willful use of the Infringing Materials to locations in Doha, D Maris Bay (Turkey), Boston, Dallas and several additional locations in Istanbul.”
Earlier, in 2019 the famous chef came into news for underpaying those working in his restaurants.