Village People Manager Claps Back At Trump Lawyer
Village People manager Karen Willis responded Monday to a statement from a lawyer for former U.S. president Donald Trump who suggested she had no authority to send him a cease-and-desist notice.
Willis, who is also the wife of Village People co-founder Victor Willis ("the cop") wrote in a letter to Joe Tacopina that they have been “inundated with social media posts” about a group of impersonators who recently performed poolside at Trump's Mar-a-lago resort.
MAR-A-LAGO — President Trump was in high spirits today, dancing to "Macho Man" by the Village People. pic.twitter.com/HkdJGphvaP— Kevin smith (@KJ00355197) May 12, 2023
“The performance has, and continues to cause public confusion as to why Village People would even engage in such a performance. We did not,” she wrote. “Though my husband has tolerated your client’s use of his Village People music, we cannot allow such use by him to cause public confusion as to endorsement.”
The letter continues: “Your client is hereby on notice that U.S. trademark law protects against the unauthorized use of the Village People image and trade dress. To be certain, the use of the group’s image and likeness at Mar-A-Lago was unauthorized.”
But, in a statement, Tacopina said: “I will only deal with the attorney of the Village People, if they have one, not the wife of one of the members. But they should be thankful that President Trump allowed them to get their name back in the press. I haven’t heard their name in decades. Glad to hear they are still around.”
Willis countered, in a statement to iHeartRadio.ca: “Though I’m a lawyer, it is true that I’m not the Village People’s lawyer. However, I don’t need to be considering that I am a personal owner of the songs in question, and the personal owner of Village People rights in question. Therefore, I have standing to send the cease and desist which is binding on Trump.”
Last year, Trump said the Village People hit “Y.M.C.A.” is his favourite song to play when he DJs parties at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago.
“You know what gets them rockin’? ‘Y.M.C.A.,’” Trump said on the Full Send Podcast. “The gay national anthem. Did you ever hear that? They call it the gay national anthem.”
Trump said the song “gets people up and it gets them moving.”
Listen to music from The Village People