News Article

90 Million Problems

R. Kelly sues Jay-Z, seeks $90 million. His suit alleges that the rapper wrongfully booted him from their tour out of ''spite and jealousy''

Just as he threatened to do, R. Kelly filed suit on Monday in response to Jay-Z's kicking him off the pair's co-headlining Best of Both Worlds Tour. The suit, filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan and posted online at The Smoking Gun, seeks $75 million in damages from the rapper and another $15 million from concert promoter Atlanta Worldwide, claiming breach of contract.

According to the suit: Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) and his associates acted out of ''spite and jealousy'' over money since he was due a larger cut of the tour's guaranteed fees. The rapper's posse meant to push the singer off the tour by sabotaging his stage lighting (the suit alleges that Kelly had to reprogram the lights himself, forcing him to delay or miss several shows on the tour), issuing threats, and finally, spraying him with mace or pepper spray at Friday's show, after which Jay-Z barred Kelly from performing in the remaining month's worth of shows. (Kelly had left the stage during that show because he was spooked, telling security guards he saw guns in the audience. Also according to the suit, on his way back to the stage, after guards told him they found no weapons, Kelly and two bodyguards were sprayed by Jay-Z associate Tyran ''Ty-Ty'' Smith.

Jay-Z spokeswoman Jana Fleishman told the Sun-Times the rapper disputed Kelly's assertion that he was ''ready, willing, and able'' to return to the tour. She said the singer's ''lack of professionalism and unpredictable behavior'' led to his ouster from the tour. When contacted by EW.com, Fleishman refused to comment on the contents of the lawsuit.

Originally posted Nov 02, 2004
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