NEW YORK, Nov. 1 2004 LAWFUEL – Lawsuit, law, legal, attorney, law firm, entertainment law news Attorneys for R&B star R. Kelly filed a
$75 million lawsuit today charging rapper Jay-Z and his Marcy Projects
production company with deliberately sabotaging the two artists’ “Best of Both
The suit accuses Jay-Z and Marcy Projects of intentionally causing a
series of production snafus and then physically assaulting R. Kelly and some
members of his entourage with pepper spray. It also levels breach-of-contract
charges against Jay-Z, Marcy Projects, and Atlanta Worldwide Touring Company,
the tour promoter.
The lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court two days after the
promoter, acting on instructions from Jay-Z and Marcy Projects, cancelled the
tour and barred R. Kelly from further performances, including an October 30
show at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
According to the lawsuit, R. Kelly’s late arrival at a Chicago show on
September 30, his absence from a Cincinnati show on October 1, and technical
problems at an October 23 show in St. Louis were all the result of intentional
sabotage by Jay-Z’s lighting director, acting at the behest of Jay-Z.
This sabotage resulted in R. Kelly having to hire his own lighting
director and work all night to solve technical problems with the lighting and
logistics for the tour. Even after R. Kelly’s efforts to overcome the
technical problems, Jay-Z’s lighting director continued to cause problems with
“inexplicably flubbed” lighting cues.
The suit also reveals that Jay-Z himself walked out of a show early,
leaving a performance in Memphis on October 17 in order to travel to New York
to attend a birthday party for hip-hop star Usher.
R. Kelly’s own lighting director took over the lighting duties for the
“Best of Both Worlds Tour” tour at an October 29 concert at Nassau Coliseum in
Uniondale, NY. The show went off flawlessly that night. But at a Madison
Square Garden show the following night, R. Kelly saw two men with guns in the
audience and left the stage fearing for his life, the lawsuit says.
R. Kelly agreed to resume his performance after police were called, but on
his way back to the stage he and members of his entourage were assaulted with
pepper spray wielded by an associate of Jay-Z identified as Tyran (Ty Ty)
Smith, the lawsuit charges.
The suit seeks $15 million in monetary damages that resulted from
cancellation of the tour and the exclusion of R. Kelly from performing as well
as $60 million in punitive damages from the three defendants.