“Tattoogate” artist sues former client for defamation of $2 million after viral videos

Alice Sjöberg
TikToker shares tattoogate artist has sued herRi McCue / TikTok

A TikTok user named Ri McCue says that a tattoo artist that she’d gone to has sued her for over $2 million after sharing her experience getting a tattoo from her.

In May 2023, a woman named Courtney Monteith went viral after claiming that the artist had not only not done the design she’d requested but also had more and higher fees than other artists, including a deposit of $1,000 for the appointment, $85 for a consultation, and an additional $1,600 as a design fee.

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After Courtney went viral, TikTok user Ri McCue took to the app to share her own story with the artist, which racked up over 7 million views. Ri shared that she’d contacted Lindsey to get a tattoo on her collarbone, and went on to pay a 50% deposit of $850.

A few days before the appointment, Lindsey contacted Ri and said she didn’t want to tattoo her on the collarbone. Ri then suggested changing the design and doing something else, to which Lindsey replied she’d then have to pay another consult fee or forfeit her $850 deposit by canceling the appointment.

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The appointment still goes on with a new design, but Ri complained that she had to pay two-day fees of $1900, even though she only tattooed for around 2 hours each day and was initially quoted $1,800 in total. In the end, Ri claims she paid over $3,000 for about 6 hours of tattooing in total.

“Tattoogate” artist sues TikToker for defamation

In a video published in February, Ri revealed that Lindsey Joseph has sued her for defamation of $2 million.

“I know a lot of you have been asking for an update for the last few months. I haven’t been able to say much about the situation, just at the advice of my lawyer, but I do have a pretty juicy update for you guys today,” Ri said in the video.

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“Lindsey Joseph is officially suing me for defamation of over $2 million.”

Ri first told viewers about the lawsuit in July 2023 after getting a letter from Joseph’s lawyers. She said that the letter was regarding “false and defamatory statements posted on TikTok videos”.

“It’s claiming that I defamed Miss Joseph by incorrectly asserting that she has engaged in dishonest business practices, scammed me and other clients for financial gain, and has had police complaints made against her,” Ri read from the letter. “She’s saying that my inaccurate and defamatory statements have and continue to cause significant harm to Miss Joseph’s reputation and business interests.”

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She went on to say that Joseph requires her to “immediately and permanently” delete the videos, as well as publish an apology and retraction of the comments she made in her videos. If these conditions weren’t met, Joseph would move on with the lawsuit.

In a second video, Ri asked viewers to share their own experiences with Lindsey Joseph, saying she “would like to make those connections for the future”.

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About The Author

Alice is an Entertainment Writer who joined the Dexerto team in May 2023. She is a NCTJ qualified journalist that previously worked in local news before moving on to entertainment news with OK! Magazine and a wide variety of other publications. You can contact Alice at alice.sjoberg@dexerto.com