Lawyers for the American movie star Angela Bassett, have demanded that the government of Antigua and Barbuda cease and desist from using her name and photos for marketing purposes.

The Cabinet announced last week that Bassett and fellow actor Dawnn Lewis had been made tourism ambassadors for Antigua and Barbuda.

But in a letter dated May 10 addressed to tourism officials, Darrell Miller, an attorney at Fox Rothschild LLP, told the government to cease all usage of Bassett’s “name and/or image in connection with the Tourism Board’s marketing or promotional efforts”.

The letter said Bassett was unaware that any photos were being taken during the trip for commercial purposes without the “customary prior approvals” and until a release agreement was signed between the parties.

It also asked officials to immediately stop using the term “tourism ambassador” “until the parties have reached a mutual agreement, reflecting Ms Bassett’s acceptance of the ambassadorship position”.

During the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Lionel Hurst said the government’s decision to appoint Angela Bassett as a tourism ambassador was a spontaneous move by the Prime Minister.

He said it was “a spur-of-the-moment invitation and acceptance by Bassett and Lewis”.

Hurst told journalists that said the lawyer’s letter was an attempt to ensure that no legal liability befell Bassett from a potential role as a tourism ambassador.