(CN) – A concert promoter says a booking agent bilked him for a $25,000 deposit to hire Mary J. Blige, and that the agent forged the signatures of Blige and her manager on a contract for a concert he knew would never happen. Blige and her manager are not parties to the complaint in Philadelphia Federal Court.
Dotun Aiyegbusi and his company Black Star Music Group sued Wesley Powell, Powell’s company G*Town Entertainment, both of Washington, D.C., and G*Town employee or agent Dwayne Murray, of Palm Coast, Fla.
Aiyegbusi says he asked Powell to help him organize “The Diva Concert,” an Atlantic City event that would star Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and Chaka Khan.
G*Town claimed to have direct contact with Blige, Aiyegbusi says.
G*Town asked for a $150,000 deposit before involving the Blige in negotiations, according to the complaint. But Aiyegbusi says he refused to pay that much until Blige had committed to the show.
Aiyegbusi says he accepted G*Town’s counteroffer of a $25,000 deposit before negotiations began. He says he sent the money with a letter of intent, with the understanding that G*Town would refund the deposit if the concert didn’t materialize.
After that, Blige was supposed to send a performance contract directly to Aiyegbusi, the lawsuit states. Instead, G*Town sent a contract it claimed was authorized by Blige’s manager, Kendu Isaacs, and demanded $125,000 to seal the deal, Aiyegbusi claims.
Aiyegbusi says he refused to send the money without a contract signed by Blige and her manager. In return, G*Town sent a modified contract complete with Blige’s forged signature and the forged initials of her manager, Kendu Isaacs, according to the complaint.
Aiyegbusi says he complained to G*Town about the “suspicious” signatures and the additional contract terms, but G*Town refused to return his $25,000 deposit.
Aiyegbusi wants his money back, plus damages for fraud and breach of contract. He demanded the return of his deposit and damages. He is represented by Olugbenga Abiona.