'Bitten the hand that feeds her': Fiji Water Girl hit with lawsuit from Fiji Water

The dispute between the so-called Fiji Water Girl and the company that made her famous has heated up, with Fiji Water launching a counter-lawsuit against the model on Friday (US Time).

At the start of February, Kelleth Cuthbert, whose real name is Kelly Steinbach but is better known as the Fiji Water Girl who became famous after photo bombing celebrities at the Golden Globes with Fiji Water, sued the company for using her image without authorisation.

It came after the brand used her famous photo to create cardboard cut-outs as part of a global marketing campaign.

But now The Wonderful Company, which owns Fiji Water, has alleged Ms Steinbach reneged on an agreement that allowed Fiji Water to use her likeness in advertising.

The countersuit accuses the model of attempting to "extort close to half a million dollars from Fiji" because she was not happy with the $90,000 contract she had signed, reports CBS News.

"Ms Steinbach has now bitten the hand that feeds her by suing the very company that is entirely responsible for providing her the opportunity and the means to capitalize on her fleeting 15 minutes of internet fame."

Ms Steinbach's legal representatives had earlier said legal action had been a last resort after the company received allegedly $12million in brand exposure from the viral photos.

"Models make a living off the use of their image. No one would expect other professions to work for free.

"Fiji Water's cardboard cut-out campaign used Ms Cuthbert's image unlawfully and she just wants what is fair."