Bad Bunny is being sued by Carliz De La Cruz Hernandez, his ex-girlfriend, for the unauthorized use of one of his voice recordings in his music, according to a new lawsuit seen by Pitchfork. The voice memo features De La Cruz saying “Bad Bunny, baby” in a breathy voice and has been used on the 2016 single “Pa Ti” and A summer without youis “Two Thousand 16”. She filed the lawsuit this month in a Puerto Rico court, alleging that both her voice and her phrase, which she allegedly came up with, are being used without her permission. She is seeking $40 million in compensation.
“Thousands of people have commented directly on Carliz’s social networks, as well as every time she goes to a public place, about ‘Bad Bunny, baby’. This has caused, and currently causes, De La Cruz to feel worried, distraught, intimidated, overwhelmed, and anxious,” a loose translation of the lawsuit reads. Also sued are Rimas Entertainment and Bad Bunny’s manager, Noah Kamil Assad Byrne. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Bad Bunny for comment.
Bad Bunny and De La Cruz began dating in 2011 and attended the University of Puerto Rico together the following year. According to the lawsuit, the reggaeton artist was allegedly writing songs and often sought input from her during this time period. He was supposedly in charge of invoice handling, contract management, and event scheduling. The lawsuit claims the phrase “Bad Bunny, baby” first appeared in 2015, and Bad Bunny asked De La Cruz to record himself saying it. According to the complaint, the couple finally separated in 2017.
In the lawsuit, De La Cruz claims that a Bad Bunny representative contacted her in early May for permission to use her voice memo in a song. According to the complaint, she turned down an offer of $2,000 to buy the recording and asked to discuss a contract to license her voice. “De La Cruz reiterated that the only way to formalize an agreement is if it is done in writing,” she reads in the translation of the lawsuit.
De La Cruz claims that she and the manager met to hear the song and she once again refused to clear the label on the song, claiming that she was not comfortable with it. One day before the release of A summer without you, the representative sent her a contract that was “excessively complete, so she felt cheated,” according to the lawsuit. Hours before the album’s release, another Rimas employee reportedly sent an alternative contract requesting permission to use his voice memo on the upcoming “Dos Mil 16” and, retroactively, “Pa Ti.” The lawsuit claims that A summer without you He came out a day later with the unauthorized voice memo.