Kanye West is suing Jay-Z‘s Roc-A-Fella Records and EMI, the company that helped him launch his career … because he says he’s owed a lot of loot.
Ye filed 2 lawsuits Friday … one against Roc-A-Fella, claiming he signed an exclusive recording agreement with the company. The suit is heavily redacted, but he’s asking for a declaration of his rights over a dispute he’s having and he wants money.
Kanye also filed a lawsuit against EMI April Music, claiming they owe him over a music dispute.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, in 2003, the year before he came out with his breakout album, “College Dropout,” he signed a contract with EMI. The suit claims by the end of 2011, Kanye had written solely or with other writers more than 200 songs and gave the rights to those songs to EMI.
Those songs include some of the most influential and successful songs in his catalog, although the suit isn’t specific.
The suit is heavily redacted, although it says there is a dispute and he wants a judge to declare his rights under the contract — presumably for money.
He’s hired one of the most powerful firms in the country — Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, so the stakes are clearly high.
The author of “13 Reasons Why” claims he was expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators over false allegations of sexual harassment … this according to a new lawsuit.
In the suit, obtained by TMZ, book author Jay Asher claims he was kicked out of SCBWI after 7 anonymous women alleged he was using his status to prey upon other female members of the organization and intimidated them into silence, an allegation he says was completely false.
In the docs, Jay claims he was expelled from the society after the allegations of sexual harassment came out, and says the organization never adequately investigated the allegations against him. In the docs, Jay says he believes his accusers were resentful of his success.
Jay is going after SCBWI for damages, and says he thinks the false allegations could hurt his ability to make money as an author of young adult novels.
We reached out to SCBWI for comment … so far, no word back.
BlocBoy JB is following suit with a lot of other artists by filing his own suit against the creators of Fortnite for allegedly stealing a dance he popularized … TMZ has learned.
BB JB just sued Epic Games — the company behind Fortnite Battle Royale — for allegedly ripping off his dance the “Shoot” and throwing it into their game with a different name … the “Hype” dance.
According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, BlocBoy claims he’s the creator of the dance, and that Epic Games didn’t get permission to use it in Fortnite. Once again, he claims that while he hadn’t registered a copyright on the dance when Fortnite used it … he says he’s in the process of locking it down now.
Lots of other rappers and social media figures have filed similar suits — including one Alfonso Ribeiro, who’s got beef with the “Carlton” dance being used in the game, as well as Backpack Kid, who claims the game creators stole his move, “The Floss” — and they all seem to have the same claim … we popularized a dance, and therefore its ours.
Mariah Carey says she was betrayed in a huge way by the former personal assistant she hired … an assistant Mariah says secretly recorded her doing “embarrassing” things and then threatening to release the vids unless the singer coughed up $ 8 million … TMZ has learned.
TMZ has obtained a copy of a lawsuit Mariah just filed against Lianna Azarian. Mariah says she hired Azarian back in March, 20156 as an Executive Assistant. Mariah claims it wasn’t long before Azarian went to town with her credit card, buying personal stuff and also claiming to retailers she was buying things for Mariah, trading the singer’s good will to get deep discounts.
Carey says unbeknownst to her, Azarian was secretly filming her “personal activities” … which would be “embarrassing,” and extremely damaging both personally and professionally if revealed.
Mariah says Azarian showed some of the videos to friends, saying if she was ever fired she’d sell them.
Carey claims she was paying Azarian as much as $ 327,000 a year, but ended up firing her in November, 2017, and that’s when she claims the blackmail began. Carey says Azarian demanded $ 8 million and if she didn’t get it she’d release videos and other damaging information.
The lawsuit does not say what’s on the videos … although some are described as “intimate.”
Mariah says she’s demanded the videos and other evidence of criminal activity back, to no avail. She’s suing for unspecified damages.
Rihanna is going after her own father in court for using her Fenty brand and his relationship to her to launch a business for himself … according to new court docs.
In a new lawsuit — obtained by TMZ — Rihanna claims her father, Ronald Fenty, recently started a talent development company in 2017 called Fenty Entertainment. The problem … Rihanna has already trademarked “Fenty” to use in a number of biz ventures, including her well-known Fenty Beauty line. She claims he’s profiting off the reputation she’s created with Fenty.
In the docs, Rihanna says her father and a business partner falsely advertised themselves as her reps to solicit millions of dollars, including trying to book her for 15 shows in Latin America in December 2017 for $ 15 mil … all without her authorization.
Rihanna claims later her dad even unsuccessfully tried to file a trademark for “Fenty” to use with resort boutique hotels.
She says she’s sent multiple cease and desist letters to her father, ordering him to stop capitalizing off of her Fenty trademarks, but says he’s ignored them and continued to make money off of Fenty Entertainment.
She’s asking a judge to place an injunction on her dad using the name Fenty … and, of course, for damages.
We’ve reached out to Ronald for comment … so far, no word back.
Stormy Daniels is taking some of the police officers who arrested her at a strip club last year to court — claiming they only went after her for speaking out against President Trump.
The former porn star just filed suit against several members of the Columbus Division of Police who serve in the vice unit, in which she alleges the only reason these cops falsely arrested her last summer at Sirens is quite simple … allegiance to Trump.
In the docs — obtained by TMZ — Stormy claims that the officers listed entered into a conspiracy with each other upon learning that she’d be making an appearance in the area, and decided to go undercover with the sole intention of retaliation and ruining her rep.
Stormy had recently spoken out about her alleged affair with Trump on “60 Minutes,” and she believes the actions of these officers were in direct response to that.
She claims the cops violated her civil rights by falsely arresting and imprisoning her, and now … she’s asking a judge to award her damages for it.
As the saying goes … a picture of Cardi B‘s worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is why a photographer says she’s suing VH1 and BET’s parent company … TMZ has learned.
The above shot of Cardi was taken by Rebecca Fay Walsh and, in her lawsuit, Rebecca says she noticed Cardi use it in a social media post in September 2018. But then, Cardi’s post — WITH Rebecca’s photo — showed up on vh1.com and bet.com.
That’s a big no-no in Rebecca’s book. According to the suit, neither outlet got the photog’s permission to use her photo. She wants Viacom — the parent company of VH1 and BET — to fork over a minimum of $ 150,000 for each use of the shot.
It’s interesting … she’s not suing Cardi for posting the pic. Could be Cardi got permission, or maybe Rebecca just doesn’t want to pick a fight with the rapper. She’s got a reputation, y’know.
Nirvana‘s famous smiley face design was stolen by clothing brand Marc Jacobs … so says the band in a new lawsuit.
The docs claim, in November 2018, MJ announced the release of its “Bootleg Redux Grunge” collection. Included in the collection were socks, shirts and sweaters. The MJ line featured a squiggly yellow smiley face.
Problem is, Nirvana has owned the trademark to a very similar smiley face design since 1992 … and says “Bootleg Redux Grunge” is a blatant ripoff of the design.
The lawsuit also claims Nirvana as one of the founders of the “Grunge” music scene … so even the Marc Jacobs’ line name was hatched thanks to the band.
We’ve reached out to a rep for Marc Jacobs for comment … so far, no word back.
Target now has a target on its back … Vans is suing the retail giant for straight-up jacking its iconic shoe.
According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ … Vans is super pissed Target just started selling shoes eerily similar to the “Old Skool Shoe” it introduced back in 1977. Target’s “Camella Lace-Up” shoe hit the market in August.
Vans claims Target’s shoe features a similar jazz stripe. Vans also alleges Target intentionally copied the distinctive look because it knew it would create confusion so the knockoffs would sell. Vans notes Target’s own customers refer to the copycat shoes as “fake Vans” on Target’s website.
Vans wants the copycat shoes destroyed. It also wants all profits Target has made off the kicks.
Reps for Target tell us they’re aware of the lawsuit and, “Have a deep appreciation and respect for design rights.” They say their vendor is looking into the claims.