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Closing arguments presented in Jay-Z’s perfume dispute

By | Published on Wednesday 10 November 2021


Jay-Z was back in a New York courtroom yesterday, though this time to listen to the closing arguments in his legal battle with perfume company Parlux, rather than spar with any lawyers working for the fragrance firm.

Parlux partnered with the rapper to launch a perfume product called Gold Jay-Z back in 2013. However, the company claims, when the product was launched, its celebrity partner failed to promote the fragrance, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

In an entertaining back and forth between Jay-Z and Parlux’s attorney Anthony Viola earlier this month, the rapper basically argued that Gold Jay-Z failed because of the perfume’s company’s “crappy, lazy” marketing efforts.

According to Law360, during yesterday’s summing up, Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro again argued that Parlux wasn’t up to the task of marketing a prestigious product like Gold Jay-Z, while also questioning the credibility of some of the perfume company’s key witnesses.

He also argued that – wherever the Parlux side had identified specific promotional activity that Jay-Z declined to participate in – there were always good reasons. Sometimes logistical, sometimes because of legitimate concerns about the partners Parlux was working with.

And finally Spiro echoed a statement made by Jay-Z himself during his testimony: he had no reason to deliberately set out to make Gold Jay-Z fail, given it was his name and his brand that was publicly attached to the perfume product.

As for Parlux’s closing remarks, the aforementioned Viola told the jury that most of the issues raised by Jay-Z and his team during the court hearing were distractions, because this was ultimately a case that centres on the rapper’s contractual obligations to Parlux, and whether or not he honoured the commitments he signed up to in his contract.

Despite those contractural commitments, Jay-Z failed to participate in an assortment of promotional activity, Viola argued. And then – noting Jay-Z’s claim during his testimony that he was “on trial for something I didn’t do” – Parlux’s lawyer was able to get in one last entertaining dig against his sparring partner: “He’s right – we have him on trial because he didn’t do anything”.

This case is discussed further in this week’s edition of our Setlist podcast.