BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CN) - A concert promoter says he paid almost $100,000 for Atlanta rapper T.I. to host and perform at a "Welcome Back Party" to celebrate T.I.'s release from jail, but the rapper was under house arrest and on probation and failed to show up at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. The promoter says the failed concert cost him his life's savings.
Carl D. Davis claims co-defendant Jervon Morgan approached him, claiming to be "the first cousin, liaison, agent and representative" of T.I., whose given name is Clifford Harris Jr. Morgan's company, A-List Entertainment, is also named as a defendant.
The Welcome Back Party, slated for May 28, was to celebrate "TI's recent prison release from his felony incarceration for pleading guilty to unlawfully receiving, possessing and buying pistols, machine guns, silencers, firearms and ammunition as it relates to his probation violation of his preceding 1998 conviction for possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute in Cobb County, Georgia," according to the federal complaint.
Davis claims Morgan told him that another performer, defendant Sean "Big Kuntry King" Marrett would also appear.
But Davis says Morgan and his associates, defendants Jason Geter and Amina Gant, did not tell him while they were negotiating that T.I. was under house arrest, with 3 years of supervised probation.
Davis says Morgan would not give him access to his rapper cousin and would not agree to a written contract, but told him to pay $50,000 to defendant King of Da South LLC to secure T.I., and another $2,500 to Marrett.
Davis says King of Da South is the alter ego of T.I., but does not legally exist, according to the Georgia Secretary of State.
On the morning of the show, Davis says he went to Atlanta to meet with Morgan, Geter and Gant, but on his way home, friends called and told him they had heard T.I. on a local radio station saying that though he was coming to Birmingham, he would not host or perform at the event.
Davis claims T.I. "acted purposely and maliciously with the intent to devastate the general radio audience, ticket holders and spectators who desired to attend in an effort to preserve himself from disclosing and appearing to violate his home detention period and probation guidelines." Davis also claims T.I. talked other performers, including Marrett, into skipping the show.
When he realized the concert would fail, Davis says, he suffered chest pains, nausea and emotional distress and was hospitalized.
Davis claims he gave almost $100,000 to T.I., Morgan, Gant and Geter and spent substantial amounts of money on vendors, security, stage crews, advertising and rental of the Civic Center.
Davis says the rapper's call to the radio station on the morning of May 28 "influenced spectators not to attend" and as a result, Davis lost $340,000 in anticipated profits, and his life's savings.
T.I. has been in the news lately, having been found guilty of violating probation with a recent drug possession arrest in Los Angeles. He will soon return to jail for 11 months; the judge was not persuaded by his plea for leniency.
Just last week, the rapper was instrumental in talking a suicide jumper down from a 22-story building in Atlanta.
Named as defendants are Harris, Morgan, Gant, Geter, Marrett, King of Da South LLC, Grand Hustle LLC, Grand Hustle Inc., Grand Hustle Management Inc. and A-List Entertainment Group LLC.
Davis seeks damages for breach of contract, fraud, conversion and negligence.
He is represented by Antonio D. Spurling of Birmingham.
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