Bad Bunny is facing a sizable lawsuit from Carliz De La Cruz Hernández, an ex-girlfriend whose voice can be heard on a pair of the Grammy-winner’s songs.
The $40 million suit claims De La Cruz Hernández’s “indistinguishable” contributions to “Pa Ti” and “Dos Mil 16”—where she memorably says “Bad Bunny, baby”—have been used without legal permission.
Per the Associated Press, which cites Puerto Rico’s NotiCel, the recording has also been put to use in “promotions, worldwide concerts, television, radio and social and musical platforms.”
De La Cruz Hernández’s lawsuit, filed in March in a Puerto Rican court, declares, “Since then, thousands of people have commented directly on Carliz’s social media networks, as well as every time she goes to a public place, about the ‘Bad Bunny, baby.’ This has caused, and currently causes, that De La Cruz Hernández feels worried, anguished, intimidated, overwhelmed and anxious.”
“Pa Ti” and “Dos Mil 16” are nearing 1 billion combined streams on YouTube and Spotify. Bad Bunny’s manager Noah Kamil Assad Byrne is also listed in the suit, as is record label Rimas Entertainment.
De La Cruz Hernández and Bunny—real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio—got together in 2011 and ultimately called it quits in 2017. Carliz claims the superstar’s rep contacted her in May 2022 to offer $2,000 for the rights to her “Bad Bunny, baby” vocal, audible at the 0:04 mark below.
She declined, the AP writes, then “spoke with someone at Rimas Entertainment who also offered to buy it, saying the recording would be used in the upcoming album, Un Verano Sin Ti.”
No deal was reached, but “Dos Mil 16” made the LP, which landed the same month and just nabbed the Grammy for Best Música Urbana Album in February. (Bad Bunny has three wins and nine nominations altogether.)
The filing explains that Carliz recorded the phrase in a friend’s bathroom at Bunny’s request. It also alleges, per the AP, that early in their relationship and time together at the University of Puerto Rico, Bunny “was constantly creating songs and rhythms and would seek opinions from [De La Cruz Hernández], who also was in charge of scheduling his parties and handling invoices and contracts.”
For all things related to Bad Bunny’s current rumored relationship—with an up-and-comer by the name of Kendall Jenner—check out this rundown by Complex’s Dayna Haffenden.