Education

Pastor who married Kim and Kanye settles lawsuit with Wynwood artists

Jose de Diego Middle students line up in front of a mural painted at the Wynwood school.
Jose de Diego Middle students line up in front of a mural painted at the Wynwood school. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

A lawsuit that pitted a group of Wynwood artists against the celebrity TV pastor who married megastars Kim Kardashian and Kanye West has been settled in a confidential agreement.

The legal fight over intellectual property broke out after Vous Church, led by pop culture personality and preacher Rich Wilkerson, Jr., used images of street art on advertisements for a new church location. That location was Jose de Diego Middle in Wynwood, and the images had been painted on the school pro-bono by local and international artists.

“The dispute has been amicably resolved and the parties have reached a mutually acceptable settlement,” said Andrew Gerber, the attorney who represented the suing artists.

Lawyer Emanuel Galimidi – who represented the church, according to court records – did not return requests for comment.

Vous is an offshoot of the megachurch Trinity in Miami Gardens, which was started by Wilkerson’s father. The younger Wilkerson began renting out Jose de Diego Middle for his new ministry, known for serving the rich and famous, in September.

Wilkerson gained fame as a handsome man of God after appearing in photos of Kardashian and West’s wedding in 2014. A reality TV show, Rich in Faith, soon followed. He and his wife, DawnCheré, boast a massive following on social media, where they catalog their international travels and celebrity social circle.

It’s also where Wilkerson blasted advertisements for his new church. The images featured artists’ work prominently, along with a logo for Vous Church.

The murals were painted to help the struggling school raise money for arts programs. Eight artists, who said their work was used in the advertisements without permission, sued. They asked for licensing and attorney’s fees.

“The artists, as promised, are going to donate a large sum of whatever they settled on, to the school. I don’t know what that sum is or how much they got, honestly,” said Robert de los Rios, a Wynwood and arts promoter who helped organized the project at Jose de Diego.

Christina Veiga: 305-376-2029, @cveiga

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