Winans Says Gospel Fest Duped, Humilated Her

     (CN) – Singer Vickie Winans says she was duped into appearing at the Atlanta Gospel Festival, and then humiliatingly forbidden to perform by concert organizers who threatened to have her removed from the stage by police.
     Winans sued the festival, its CEO Riki Brooks an CFO Lee Anthony Collins in Fulton County Superior Court, saying the incident not only damaged her reputation, but caused her to forgo other work in favor of the festival, which she’d been told was a benefit for the underprivileged and not for profit.
     Born in Detroit, Michigan, Winans began performing at age eight, and sang with a group known as the International Sounds of Deliverance while still a teenager. Later, she married Marvin Winans (the second of her three husbands), best known for his work with the multi-Grammy Award winning group The Winans.
     Her strain of her divorce from Winans after almost 17 years of marriage reportedly caused her to develop ulcers on her esophagus among other physical maladies, but she rebounded and has enjoyed a lengthy career as a performer.
     On or about March 18, 2014, her lawsuit says, she and the defendants entered into a contract for her performance at the Atlanta Gospel Festival, which was scheduled to be held on August 2 at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta.
     Winans says she agreed to substantially reduce her festival fee, “which is normally in the range of Fifteen Thousand ($15,000) to Twenty Thousand ($20,000), based upon the false representations made by Defendants, including the falsity of Plaintiff being honored for all of Plaintiffs philanthropy and humanitarian service.”
     In return for her appearance, Winans says she was to be paid $7,500 and be provided a roundtrip first class airline ticket to Atlanta and hotel accommodations.
     Under the terms of the agreement, Winans was to be paid in three installments, and to be reimbursed for her air travel and hotel upon her arrival in the city.
     But once she got to Atlanta, Winans says, things began to go very wrong.
     “Defendants made no attempt to contact Plaintiff and did not give any direction to Plaintiff as to how to proceed with the concert,” she says.
     Winans says that when she arrived at her hotel, she called defendant Brooks and asked him to meet so they could settle her compensation.
     “Defendants never came to the hotel to settle the payment due and then later told Plaintiff she was ‘no longer a part of the show,'” Winans claims.
     Undeterred, Winans says she walked from her hotel to the venue and then calmly stepped on the stage. where she “politely spoke to the audience, wanted to sing and attempted to perform.”
     ” Plaintiff also gave gifts to the audience who were disappointed that Defendants had misled the audience about Plaintiffs performance and attempted to defame the name of the Plaintiff and mislead the audience after not paying Plaintiff,” she says.
     At this point, Winans says, she was approached by Brooks, who demanded she leave the stage, and told her the festival had already called the police to remove her. All this transpired, she says, “to the dismay of the audience and the Plaintiff repeatedly saying, ‘We have an audience and I have a contract to be paid.'”
     “The Defendants snatched a bag of bracelet gifts from Plaintiff, continually threatened Plaintiff and shut-off Plaintiff’s microphone … stating ‘l know where you stay’ …”
     Winans says she eventually left and moved her hotel room out of fear for her safety. Since then and despite repeated demands, Winans says she has not received the compensation she was promised, nor has she been reimbursed for her hotel or travel.
     She seeks compensatory and punitive damages on claims of tortious breach of contract, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.
     Winans is represented by Tonya Shy, Brian Granville and James Walker Jr. of Granville Shy in Atlanta, Ga.

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