Jay Z wins cologne lawsuit: Jurors find hip hop mogul is NOT responsible for $68m in damages suffered by firm that sued him for failing to promote his signature fragrance
Hip-hop mogul Jay Z will not have to dig into his piggybank to pay $68 million to a perfume company for failing to promote his signature fragrance, a Manhattan jury ruled Wednesday as he wins the lawsuit against him – bringing to an end a saga that began five years ago.
The perfume company Parlux had filed the the breach of contract suit in 2016 after accusing Jay-Z – whose real name is Shawn Carter – and his company S. Carter Enterprises of failing to promote his fragrance Gold Jay Z.
Following a three-week trial and two hours of deliberation, jurors found him not liable for the hefty claim. The jury also rejected Jay-Z’s $6 million countersuit for alleged unpaid royalties.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok said after reading the verdict;
‘You failed to prove your case, they failed to prove their case.’
The singer, wearing a black suit and sunglasses, walked out of the courtroom beaming with delight. A reporter jokingly asked in reference to his song ’99 Problems’.
‘Do you have 98 problems now?’
Jay-Z chuckled in response;
‘I like that.’
The singer testified for two days during the trial, which began on October 18. Parlux had accused Jay-Z of costing the company millions for breaching their 2012 contract by not promoting his fragrance at the launch of the product in November 2013 or even helping to keep the brand profitable.
In closing arguments on Tuesday, Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro argued the case was a ‘misunderstanding’ that had been ‘exacerbated by dishonest deal brokers‘.
Parlux countered by saying Jay-Z had ‘disapproved and disappeared’ after he couldn’t get what he wanted and destroyed evidence after the company sued. the company’s counsel Anthony Viola argued during the trial;
‘Parlux invested $29 million into that venture. It upheld its end of the bargain,’
‘The defendants didn’t uphold their end of the bargain.’
‘If the defendants had fulfilled the contract, if they have upheld their end of the bargain, Parlux would have had a runaway success. We would have netted $67.6 million in net profits.’
Viola had sparred with the singer who accused the attorney of using ‘little lawyer tricks’ and even threatened to file a new lawsuit. The singer also told Viola that he did not read the contract he signed with Parlux.
Viola asked the Rapper;
‘At the time you signed this contract, you did not know that you personally would have obligations separate and distinct of your company?’
Jay Z responded;
‘I’m not a lawyer.’
‘All I can say is I have creative control over what I do with myself and my body. No, I did not read the contract.’
Jay-Z claimed Parlux had failed to properly market his brand and had failed to protect the fragrance from being sold on market shelves with products such as ‘hand sanitizer and Tic Tacs’.
He had also previously called the company’s work ‘crappy’ and ‘lazy.’ The Rapper insisted he did not want the fragrance to fail. Jay Z had testified;
‘If I hurt Parlux and I hurt Gold Jay Z — they are in my name,’
‘I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. It was a tough relationship but I was still trying to create something amazing.’
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