THE YEAR: 2010
THE CONTROVERSY: The much-anticipated second album from indie darlings Vampire Weekend, Contra was a hit both commercially (debuting atop the Billboard Hot 200) and critically (eventually landing on many best-of-the-year lists). The album cover image was taken from a discarded Polaroid discovered by Vampire songwriter Rostam Batmanglij — the band was quite taken by the enigmatic look of the blonde-tressed subject. A few month after Contra’s release, the band was named in a $2 million lawsuit filed by the girl in the photo, Ann Kirsten Kennis.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS: The legal proceedings took a strange turn after Tod Brody, the individual who claimed he took the Polaroid in 1983 and sold the rights to Vampire Weekend for $5,000, disappeared when he, in turn, was sued by the band. In August 2011, Kennis dropped her suit after receiving an undisclosed settlement from the band and label. (Brody, whose whereabout were recently discovered, still faces legal action from all parties.)MORE: Vampire Weekend Gets Sued by Cover Model