(CN) – Australian Hip-hop artist and model Iggy Azalea says her former boyfriend done her wrong, stealing previously unheard compositions from her computer that he and others now jointly plan to release.
In a lawsuit filed in the federal court in Los Angeles, Azalea, whose real name is Amethyst Kelly, says her boyfriend, Maurice Williams — also known as the rapper Jefe Wine – misled her from the very beginning of their relationship.
The two met in 2008 when she was 17 and living in a Houston hotel. At the time, Williams, 33, told the aspiring singer that he was a “partner in an oil company” and owned several undeveloped parcels of real estate in and around the city.
Azalea now believes the “‘ … oil company’ Williams was referring to was, in fact, an alleged ownership interest in National Equities Holdings, Inc., a company that has been ordered to pay civil penalties of $3,600,000 for, inter alia, operating in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme.”
However, while still in the early stages of their relationship Azalea moved in with Williams – unaware that he was already married with children – and together they began to build her career. During this period, she says, she recorded several songs onto her computer that she never approved for commercial release.
Evidently finding out about Williams’ family, Azalea moved to Atlanta alone, but he soon joined her there and persuaded her to let him stay in the house she was renting, the complaint says,
Two months later, Azalea claims, Williams told her that he “downloaded the entire contents of Azalea’s personal computer, including the Unreleased Masters, onto a jump drive without her consent.”
During the couple’s time together in Houston, Williams introduced Azalea to Kareem Chapman, an artist manager for musicians. The three subsequently made plans to travel to New York to meet with record company executives, and Chapman asked Azalea to sign an artist management agreement as a condition for his attending the meetings.
Azalea says she signed a “short document” that she believed was the agreement, but that afterwards Williams took her copy of the document and “created a cut-and-paste document he entitled ‘Recording Agreement,’ altered the signature page from the … artist management agreement to make it look like the signature page to an exclusive music recording and composition agreement between Azalea and a non-existent entity called “Wine Enterprises, inc.,” [sic], and attached the altered signature page to the fabricated ‘Recording Agreement.’
She contends “The Forged Agreement contains tell-tale signs that it is not genuine. For example, it includes mismatched fonts on the signature page; the signature page contains no substantive text; the paragraph numbers are out of sequence; the signature line is for “Wine Enterprises, Inc.” [sic] rather than, as is customary, for an authorized agent; and it provides, as an address for legal notices, the contact information of an attorney who had no knowledge of the Forged Agreement until Azalea’s representatives recently brought it to his attention.”
On July 24, 2014, defendant Primco Management Inc. a self-described “multi-media company, medical marijuana and real estate management company,” announced its ESMG/Top Sail Productions division had secured the rights to an Azalea album titled “Inizio.”
In her lawsuit, Azalea, whose song “Fancy” topped Billboard’s “Hot 100” this past summer, says the defendants plan to distribute her music on Sept. 30 without her consent and are using her name and likeness to promote music they misappropriated.
“In reality,” she says, “‘Inizio’ is a bootleg.”
“It consists of unauthorized works derived from the Unreleased Masters and a purported interview, promoted with EP artwork featuring the “Iggy Azalea” Mark, and Azalea’s name and likeness,” she says.
Azalea maintains her representatives have told the defendants to cease and desist in their activities, but to date, these requests have been ignored.
She seeks all gains and profits derived from the sale of the music, treble damages for the unauthorized use of her recordings, punitive damages and court costs.
Azalea is represented by Howard E. King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner LLP in Los Angeles.
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