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Tim Duncan Files Lawsuit Against Real Estate Firm For Using His Image Without Permission

tim duncan 1005 faces


SAN ANTONIO — Just four days after the his retirement announcement nearly broke the Internet, St. Croix’s Tim Duncan filed a lawsuit against two Texas real estate agents and the firm they work with saying they used his image without permission.

Duncan, who hung up his sneakers on July 11, filed suit on Friday against a Keller Williams real estate agent who he says altered a photograph of himself to promote their real estate business.

According to court records, the July 15 suit names Robert Elder, Stefanie Graham, Keller Williams San Antonio, R.E.S.A., Inc and John Doe 1 and 2.

The photo at the center of the litigation was taken by San Antonio photographer Sarah Brooke Lyons for her “1005 Faces” project, which features portraits of Alamo City residents holding signs expressing personal thoughts.

Duncan’s expression is about what you’d expect: “Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is your best!”

According to the lawsuit, Elder, Graham and two unknown individuals altered that photo to promote Elder’s real estate business by removing the original text and replacing it with the logo for Elder’s business and a website address. Here’s what the post, which has been taken down, allegedly said: “Wow! Just Wow! TD took the time to give us some love! Thanks Tim! We love you too man!”

Lyons posted the photo on July 11, shortly after Duncan announced his retirement, court documents show.

Duncan alleges Elder and co were taking advantage of his retirement decision to capitalize on the high regard San Antonio residents have for the power forward and misappropriated the image for profit.

Duncan has requested a temporary restraining order in court.

The Virgin Islands Free Press has left messages for Jack Hawthorne, the attorney representing Keller Williams, and Michael Bernard, Duncan’s attorney seeking comment.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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