Parlux Fragrances filed the suit on Tuesday, January 26, in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming the music superstar failed to help promote, Gold Jay Z, his signature fragrance. The company alleges that Gold Jay Z was supposed to launch to much fanfare in 2013, but that the cologne didn’t gain traction because the rapper declined to do the social media posts and promotional appearances, including high profile ones on Good Morning America and at Macy’s, he had agreed to do in order to promote the fragrance.
“Jay Z declined … declined … declined … declined” six different times to participate, according to court papers.
At another point, Parlux lawyer Anthony Viola says in papers, the company teamed up with Jacob the Jeweler to create five prototypes of lavish perfume bottles for the fragrance. Each one had solid gold caps and gold drizzled on the exterior. They cost $20,000 each.
“Mr. Carter rejected all of them and kept the prototype,” court papers say.
He also kept his guaranteed $2 million up-front royalty fee, the filing says.
He’s been accused of not promoting his signature scent.
Parlux Fragrances is suing Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, for allegedly failing to promote a signature fragrance line, called Gold Jay Z, he launched in partnership with the company in 2013. Parlux, a subsidiary of Perfumania PERF 0.47% , filed a $20 million lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday in which the company claims that Carter never fulfilled an agreement to promote the signature fragrance, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the lawsuit, Carter was supposed to make at least six appearances to promote the fragrance—including in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily and on ABC’s Good Morning America—but, instead, he made zero appearances and also failed to mention the product on social media. Parlux also claims that Carter refused to meet with the company about expanding the line of signature fragrances to include “flanker” fragrances.
Parlux blames the rapper’s lack of interest in promoting the product for the fact that Gold Jay Z only saw $14 million in sales, rather than the $50 million total the company had projected for the line. According to the lawsuit, Parlux is asking for Carter to return $2 million in royalties as well as 300,000 Perfumania shares he allegedly collected as part of the original agreement and for him to pay at least $18 million in compensatory charges.
With a wide range of business interest, this is certainly not the first time Carter has found himself named in a lawsuit. Last year, he and producer Timbaland prevailed in a copyright infringement lawsuit involving the song “Big Pimpin,’” though during the trial in that argument Carter briefly forgot about one of his more recent investments, the struggling streaming music service Tidal.
Parlux announced its partnership with Carter in November 2013 in a glowing press release in which company president Donald Loftus credited Jay Z with “turning everything he touches into gold.” Perfumania continues to include Gold Jay Z in a collection of “featured brands” displayed on its website—a group that also includes signature lines from singers Rihanna and Jessica Simpson as well as actress Sofia Vergara. Parlux says it expected to haul in about $50 million over 2 years, but instead the whole deal is pepe le pew — it’s losing money, and stores are returning unsold inventory.
Jay’s former perfume partners want damages of at least $20 million.
Source: hiphopdx.com, nydailynews.com, fortune.com