Promoter Demands $500,000 From Timbaland

     MANHATAN (CN) - Rapper-producer Timbaland canceled a five-date tour of Australia, helping himself to an unearned $500,000 in the process, an Australian concert promoter claims in court.
     Showtime Touring Group PTY Ltd., of Australia, sued Mosley Touring Inc. and Timothy Z. Mosley pka Timbaland, in Federal Court.
     In its 16-page lawsuit, with 30 pages of attachments, Showtime claims it became interested in promoting a Timbaland tour after its principal Isiosaia "Big Sire" Kailahi caught a concert by the hip-hop star in Las Vegas in September 2007.
     Two months later, Showtime says, it began negotiating with Mosley's representatives through his alter ego, Mosley Touring.
     On May 23, 2008, Showtime claims, it finalized an agreement for a five-date tour to commence in July that year, with the artist receiving $1 million for his services.
     Under the terms of the deal, Showtime agreed to pay Timbaland in three installments, the last being the largest, at $500,000.
     But during a June 27, 2008 conference call, representatives of Timbaland informed Showtime the July dates needed to be rescheduled, according to the complaint. Showtime claims that no explanation was offered for the abrupt and material deviation from the agreed-upon performance dates.
     Before the conclusion of the call, Showtime claims, "the parties agreed that although defendants had not yet received the Final Tranche, the deadline for payment thereof (pursuant to Section 3) would be modified or amended to reflect the rescheduled performance dates."
     Later that day, Showtime says, it emailed Mosley Touring, imploring it to reinstate the July tour days, saying it had already invested hundreds of thousand of dollars in the shows and stood to lose its nonrefundable deposits to the performance venues that had been booked.
     "Defendants refused to do so," Showtime says in the complaint.
     Instead, the defendants offered to perform six shows in August 2008, a proposal to which Showtime says it readily agreed.
     But on July 11, 2008, the promoter says, it learned Timbaland had scheduled live performances in Finland and Poland for the same dates as his August tour dates in Australia and New Zealand.
     "Had Showtime known defendants had so contracted, it would not have agreed to amend the July Tour dates (that is, Showtime would have accepted either performance on the Tour Dates or repudiation of the Performance Agreement with a refund of the tranches already paid), and/or would have immediately ceased all promotion and marketing efforts ... unless and until the double-booking issue could be resolved," the promoter says in the complaint.
     Showtime says that though it immediately began to take steps to find out what was going on and try to resolve the double-booking issues, "Defendants ignored all of Showtime's subsequent and prolific efforts at communication - thereby forcing Showtime to endure plummeting ticket sales, negative media, and a swath of irate ticketholders and sponsors. Most egregiously, when Mr. Kailahi undertook a costly, last-minute international trip from Australia to meet with defendants at their self-proclaimed 'principal address' in New York, defendants staunchly refused to see or speak with him."
     Showtime claims that when Mosley Touring's representatives resurfaced, they did so not to make good on the gigs, but to demand that the promoter hand over the final $500,000 tranche for the never-performed shows.
     When Showtime refused, the defendants sued the promoter for breach of the performance contract. That action has been dismissed, Showtime claims.
     Showtime seeks compensatory, special and punitive damages for breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.
     It is represented by Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks with Proskauer Rose in New York City.