Jill Scott plays the head of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency on HBO, but the singer-actress might be heading to court in real life after her longtime label Hidden Beach Recordings filed a lawsuit against her earlier this week in L.A. According to Hidden Beach, which has released each of Scott’s official albums, from 2000’s Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 through 2007’s The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, Scott left the label abruptly last fall with three albums still remaining on her contract. Hidden Beach is seeking damages to compensate for the loss of potential revenue from the albums it believes Scott promised. (If the case proceeds to trial, expert testimony could help determine the value of the allegedly undelivered albums.)
Scott’s camp struck back today in a statement issued to the press. “The lawsuit filed on February 3, 2010 by Hidden Beach Recordings against Jill Scott has no legal merit and misrepresents the history of Ms. Scott’s relationship with the label,” the statement reads. “Jill Scott has the legal right to terminate her recording contract with Hidden Beach Recordings under California’s 7-year rule, where she had been a recording artist for more than 10 years. During her time at Hidden Beach Recordings, she released several highly successful albums. At this time, with many creative projects in the works which include music, film and television roles and product development, Ms. Scott looks forward to continuing to further her artistry and building the Jill Scott brand in other creative environments.”
Hidden Beach’s attorney, Lawrence Hinkle, tells the Music Mix that the label is only asking for what it deserves under California law. “This lawsuit is not about trying to keep Jill Scott under contract,” says Hinkle. “It’s about the damages that Hidden Beach has suffered by her decision to no longer render services to Hidden Beach in connection with the remaining three albums that must be delivered under the contract…Hidden Beach wishes her well. It’s unfortunate that we were forced to have to file the lawsuit. The deadline approached for us to file the lawsuit under the statute, and we had no other choice but to move forward to preserve Hidden Beach’s rights. The parties have been talking, trying to find a way to resolve this for several months, and we expect that those conversations will continue.”
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