Jay-Z, the 51-year-old rap mogul whose actual name is Shawn Carter, is set to be cross-examined on the witness stand about allegations that he breached a deal to sell his own perfume.
The rapper is named in a breach of contract complaint brought by Parlux Fragrances, accusing him of not distributing the Gold Jay-Z fragrance line under a 2012 agreement.
Parlux sued in Manhattan Supreme Court in 2016, alleging that the rapper refused to promote the perfume on “Good Morning America” and in Women’s Wear Daily. Additionally, he is accused of declining to make a promotional appearance at Macy’s.
According to the lawsuit, it even proposed a contest with a prize of a $20,000 perfume bottle with an 18-karat gold lid, only for Carter to reject the campaign and keep the prototype.
The company asserts that it lost a total of $18 million as a result of Carter allegedly failing to keep his end of the bargain, and names Carter and his company, S. Carter Enterprises, as defendants.
“The launch started out successfully, and the product initially received rave reviews from Palux’s retailer customers,” according to the lawsuit filed January 25, 2016.
“However, in the fragrance industry, it is virtually impossible to sustain the success of a celebrity fragrance brand,” the lawsuit stated, without “promotional support from the celebrity in the form of public appearances” and “regularly updating and refreshing the brand with ‘flanker’ launches and new line extensions.”
The suit stated that “Flanker” launches consist of “using new packaging, often new fragrance scents and some variation on the name of the originally launched brand.”
Carter countersued, claiming that Parlux owes him $2.7 million from the deal.
Carter had already provided a video deposition in the case, but Judge Andrew Borrok stated during an October 1 hearing that Parlux should call Carter as a live witness and “do this the old-fashioned way.”
At the hearing, Parlux attorney Anthony Viola stated that Carter would be his first witness.
“This should be sorted out pretty quickly now, given the fact that Mr. Viola knows that I’m encouraging him to call the artist and the artist’s business manager,” Borrok said then. “So, the artist might be our first witness in the case if that’s what Mr. Viola chooses.”
When the rapper will testify is unknown. The jury selection in the civil lawsuit starts Monday.