Billy Two Rivers, former pro wrestler, to settle lawsuit against Van Morrison
Settlement details are still being finalized, according to lawyer Michael Graif
Retired professional wrestler Billy Two Rivers, from Kahnawake Mohawk territory near Montreal, has reached an agreement in principle to settle his lawsuit against Van Morrison and Universal Music Group over a photo used on the cover of the singer-songwriter's new album.
The image of Two Rivers showing him during his more than two-decade wrestling career is used for Roll with the Punches, as well as to promote this entertainer's fall tour. The album is due for release on Sept. 22.
Two Rivers claims the photo was used without his permission. His lawyer, New York-based Michael Graif, said Two Rivers was never even asked about the photo.
"The parties have reached an agreement in principle to settle the case and have put the litigation on hold to work out the details," Graif said in an interview with CBC News on Friday.
"The process, all in all, up until now has taken about one week. I'm not really at liberty to disclose the details so all I can say is that it's in all parties' interest to reach an amicable resolution and avoid litigation," he said.
Graif says once the settlement details are finalized, the lawsuit can be formally dismissed.
It's unclear if the photo of Two Rivers against an opponent will continue to be used in connection with the album.
Two Rivers wrestled around the world, including in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, during the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and was renowned for his Mohawk hairstyle.
After he retired from wrestling, he was elected to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, serving in several capacities. He was a key negotiator for the Mohawks during the Oka crisis in 1990.
With files from Lauren McCallum