Diva Discourse Leads To Suit

A Philadelphia promoter is suing a booking agency the promoter says conned him into handing over a $25,000 deposit for a Mary J. Blige appearance the agent knew would never happen.

The suit, filed in Philadelphia Federal Court Oct. 3, concerns promoter Dotun Aiyegbusi of Black Star Music Group and Wesley Powell, CEO of G*Town Entertainment.

Blige is repped by WME Entertainment and managed by record company exec Kendu Isaacs, whom she married in 2003. Neither is a party in the lawsuit.

Aiyegbusi hoped to stage the “Diva Concert,” which would feature Blige, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan, according to the suit. The show was to happen at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall in New Jersey.

G*Town claimed to have direct contact with Blige and requested $150,000 up front to begin negotiations for Blige to perform at the Diva concert, the suit says.

Black Star refused, but later agreed to a refundable $25,000 binding agreement that would go toward the artist’s deposit if a performance contract was finalized.

G*Town provided a letter of intent that said the binder would be returned if the concert didn’t materialize.

“Not only did Defendants never provide Plaintiffs with the contract specifically signed by the Artist and initialed by the Artist’s Manager, as required by the agreement, Defendants submitted the document with fraudulent signature and initials” and requesting the balance of the deposit of $125,000, according to the suit.

Considering the contract agreement suspicious, Black Star countered that it wanted its $25,000 binder returned.

The suit claims Black Star never got its money back and seeks a jury trial. It seeks unspecified relief for monetary damages, triple damages, costs of suit, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.

G*Town’s Web site describes the company as a “full service entertainment booking agency” and lists dozens – including Jay-Z, Chris Brown and Destiny’s Child – as acts on its roster under the title “Book This Artists [sic].”

On the site’s FAQ section, it says that if an act isn’t on its roster, “Let us know who you’re looking for and we’ll find them for you.”