Musician Bad Bunny is reportedly facing a $40 million lawsuit from an ex-girlfriend.
The star, who won the Grammy Award for Best Música Urbana Album for Un Verano Sin Ti at the ceremony earlier this year, is being accused of using a voice recording of his former partner, Carliz De La Cruz Hernández, in his music without her permission.
According to the lawsuit, viewed by Pitchfork, a recording of De La Cruz Hernández saying: “Bad Bunny, baby” was used in the Bad Bunny tracks “Pa Ti,” released in 2016, and “Dos Mil 16,” released in 2022.
“Pa Ti” had more than 355 millions views on YouTube at the time of writing, while “Dos Mil 16” has been watched more than 63 million times on the video hosting site.
The lawsuit, which was filed earlier in March, was first reported by Puerto Rico news site NotiCel and states that De La Cruz says her voice, and the phrase she came up with, are being used without her permission.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about De La Cruz Hernández and her past romance with Bad Bunny.
Who Is Bad Bunny’s Ex-Girlfriend Carliz De La Cruz Hernández?
According to the lawsuit, per The Guardian, De La Cruz Hernández and Bad Bunny, real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, first became a couple in 2011 and began studying at the University of Puerto Rico together shortly after.
They also worked together at a grocery store in the town of Arecibo and the lawsuit states that, during these early years as a couple, Bad Bunny would seek her opinions on his songs and rhythms.
De La Cruz was also reportedly in charge of Bad Bunny’s scheduling, and handling invoices and contracts.
The lawsuit states that Bad Bunny proposed to her on January 1, 2016, but later that year they ended their romance when record label Rimas Music signed Bad Bunny and she was accepted into the University of Puerto Rico’s law school.
They briefly got back together in 2017, but split shortly after the reunion.
Then, in May 2022, a representative for Bad Bunny reportedly called her and offered her $2,000 to buy the recording of her voice, which she says she recorded in a bathroom in 2015, but she declined.
A representative for Rimas Music also offered to buy it, for its use in the then-upcoming album Un Verano Sin Ti, however, a deal was never reached, and the song was allegedly published without De La Cruz Hernández’s consent, per the lawsuit.
Noah Kamil Assad Byrne, Bad Bunny’s manager, is also named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that De La Cruz’s voice recording has been used for promotions and worldwide concerts, and on television, radio, social media and musical platforms, as well as in the songs themselves.
“Since then, thousands of people have commented directly on Carliz’s social media networks, as well as every time she goes to a public place, about the ‘Bad Bunny, baby.’ This has caused, and currently causes, that De La Cruz feels worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious,” the lawsuit states.
Newsweek has contacted representatives for Bad Bunny, via email, for comment.
According to her Instagram account, she is currently an attorney. The account has turned off all comments underneath her Instagram posts, but it’s not clear whether this was a choice made in the wake of the lawsuit news, or if she had enabled this feature before.
Bad Bunny, meanwhile, has recently been romantically linked to supermodel Kendall Jenner.
In February, TMZ published photos that showed Jenner and Bad Bunny arriving at and leaving the popular eatery Wally’s, along with Justin Bieber and his wife, Hailey Bieber.
Instagram gossip account DeuxMoi also posted an item hinting at the new couple in the making.
After initially keeping Jenner and Bad Bunny’s identities a mystery in a story about two stars kissing in a club, the account later posted: “So I’m revealing it was Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny, I have witnesses on the scene who saw her in the club.”