'FIJI WATER GIRL' SUED

The "Fiji Water Girl" is full of herself and, instead of turning on the company that made her famous, she should have just enjoyed it and honored her contract ... that's how Fiji sees it, anyway.

Fiji filed a counter lawsuit Friday against model Kelleth Cuthbert -- real name Kelly Steinbach -- saying she's "bitten the hand that feeds her" and attempted to extort the company for half a million dollars. In docs, Fiji says Kelly's real motivation was getting a better deal ... aka more money.

As you know ... Cuthbert became a viral sensation after photobombing every celeb at the Golden Globes, and her likeness was later used on cardboard cutouts at various stores to promote the water. She sued, claiming she never gave Fiji her permission for that campaign.

Fiji's calling BS and, according to docs, it had a valid deal with Kelleth to be a brand ambassador for $90k, and claims it included using her likeness for its related ad campaign.

Fiji says she tried to skirt the deal 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." Ouch. Body blow.

The company also says it has video and photo proof of Cuthbert signing her contract, which she claimed she never did.

Fiji's asking for Kelly's suit to be dismissed, and wants damages for its canceled cutout campaign.

12:30 PM PT -- Kelleth's lawyer, Kecia Reynolds, tells TMZ, "Kelleth will not be bullied by Fiji Water, the Wonderful Company, or its billionaire owners."

They double down on their original claim, stating that "she is legally entitled to damages and profits from the use of her image. Fiji Water's complaint is meritless and Kelleth is confident she will prevail in court."

John Elliott

John Elliott

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