That Florida teen who was catapulted into curious celebrity for hollering “cash me ousside” on TV is suing three mobile-phone game companies that adopted her catchphrase and avatar for their products.
Danielle Bregoli, the sassy 14-year-old who appeared on a Dr. Phil episode dealing with unruly teens, filed a trademark lawsuit this week against the companies, which created apps called “Cash Me Outside” and “How Bout Dat.”
The lawsuit accuses Anonymous Games, Appnoxious, Squad Social and their founders of profiting off the girl’s “likeness, voice, and signature catchphrase without [her] consent.”
The suit, filed in South Florida federal court, asks for at least $1 million in damages.
Bregoli’s notoriety has been meteoric, if befuddling for many.
Last September, Bregoli, who then lived in Boynton Beach, appeared with her mom on a Dr. Phil episode entitled, “I want to give up my car-stealing twerking 13-year-old daughter who tried to frame me for a crime.”
After audience members began to jeer, Bregoli yelled out in her distinct street talk, “Cash me ousside, how bow dah.”
Translation, according to the lawsuit: “The phrase, coined by Danielle Bregoli on the spot, was a challenge to the audience members who Danielle believes were mocking her, meaning … if the audience wanted to continue mocking her, they could confront her outside and off-camera.”
“Without Danielle’s speech affect, the phrase literally meant: ‘Catch me outside, how about that,’” the suit continued.
Her lawyers also gush about her popularity among everybody from “school children to Hollywood celebrities to star professional athletes,” and about her immense following on Instagram and Facebook.
“In essence, Danielle, together with her catchphrase, became a widespread cultural phenomenon,” wrote Miami lawyer Adam Boumel. The lawsuit did not make clear whether Bregoli had formally filed for a trademark on the phrase, which went viral on social media.
Bregoli also has inked a deal to star in a reality show and has moved to Hollywood, the one on the west coast of the United States, to capitalize on her fame. Her mother created a company, Dani B Holdings, to manage her career.
In January, the gaming companies developed the simple app game, which features a little Bregoli-looking avatar jumping from “platform to platform, avoiding hazards and collecting points and wads of cash.” The game is free but the companies make money from ads on the app.
Bregoli claims she worked out a deal with the companies to split revenue 50-50 in exchange for using her likeness, voice and catchphrase, as well as $75,000 in payments up front. But the companies backed out, the suit claims, and one followed up by developing a second similar game, called “How Bout Dat.” Executives for the companies could not be reached for comment.