The model stands and poses in the background of the shooting with actor Richard MaddenCopyright of the image
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The model is seen here behind the winner of Best TV Actor, Richard Madden

A model who has found viral fame by probably beating celebrities on the red carpet of the Golden Globes is struggling with a legal battle against the company of bottles of water that made her famous.

Kelly Steinbeich, who uses the name of Kelleth Cuthbert as a model, became known overnight as Fiji Water Girl.

She had been photographed smiling while she was holding a tray of bottled water behind celebrities during the event in Hollywood.

She and Fiji are now fighting over the use of her image in marketing.

The 31-year-old Canadian model filed a lawsuit against Fiji Water and its owner, the Wonderful Company, in January after using her image for a promotional cardboard cutout.

She accused the company of using her photo, likeness and identity for a worldwide advertising campaign without permission.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, the owners of Fiji Water said that Ms. Steinbeich had knowingly signed an exclusive one – year contract valued at $ 90,000 (£ 70,000) and l '. had accused of "simple greed".

Copyright of the image
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Ms. Steinbach posing behind actress Judy Greer

They described her lawsuit as a "blatant attempt to circumvent her contractual obligations" and said she was now attempting to extort them for up to $ 500,000 (£ 385,000).

"Ms. Steinbach has now bitten the hand that nurtures her by pursuing the company that is fully responsible for providing her with the opportunity and the means to take advantage of her 15-minute ephemeral celebrity on the Internet," the lawsuit says.

Since the model's photos were widely released in January, the model has garnered more than 200,000 followers on Instagram, made appearances on television and signed endorsement contracts.

In post-viral interviews, Ms. Steinbach denied having been invited to photograph the images, insisting that she had simply done her job of "moisturizing the stars".

"If you find yourself trapped in a photo, you have to look good," she told Los Angeles local television channel KTLA 5.

"It's not just a camera – there are so many cameras that you're caught in the crossfire, no matter where you are. You're just in the shooting of someone." 39; 1. You can not avoid it. "

His legal team described the combination as a publicity stunt.

"Kelleth will not be intimidated by Fiji Water, the wonderful company, or by its billionaire owners," her lawyer, Kecia Reynolds, told CBS News.