Jay-Z is entitled to over $4.5 million in royalty claims against a perfume company that dragged him to trial last year, an appellate court ruled Thursday.
Perfume company Parlux filed a $68 million lawsuit against the “Empire State of Mind” rapper in 2016 accusing him of failing to uphold his end of a 2012 contract to promote his eponymous fragrance – Gold Jay Z.
The three-week trial began in October with a jury letting Jay-Z, who took the witness stand for two days, off the hook for the hefty claims.
At trial, Alex Spiro, a lawyer for the the 51-year-old “99 Problems” rapper, asked the jury to grant his client’s counterclaim against Parlux seeking over $4.5 million in alleged unpaid royalties. But the jury also found that Parlux shouldn’t have to pay damages to Jay-Z either.
The Appellate Divisi on, First Department issued a ruling Thursday on appeals that had been pending during the trial, finding that Jay-Z and his company “are entitled to summary judgment on their royalties counterclaim.”
“The record is clear: Parlux sold licensed products after July 31, 2015, but failed to pay royalties on those sales,” Justice John Higgitt wrote in the unanimous decision.
Spiro declined to comment. A lawyer for Parlux did not immediately return a request for comment.
At trial, Parlux lawyer Anthony Viola alleged that Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — and his company S. Carter Enterprises LLC broke their agreement when he failed to show up for the 2014 Gold Jay Z launch at Macy’s and failed to make promotional spots on “Good Morning America” and in Women’s Wear Daily.
“Parlux invested $29 million into that venture. It upheld its end of the bargain,” Viola argued during closing arguments. “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,” Viola said. “We would have netter $67.6 million in net profits.”
Spiro, told jurors during his closing arguments that his client didn’t want the cologne to fail, noting that he had a year to make promotional appearances and that showing up to the launch wasn’t required under the agreement.
“Why on Earth would Jay-Z put his name on one product and only one product in his entire career if he wanted that product to fail? Why?” Spiro posed. “And that’s a question they will never be able to answer because there is no answer.”