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Jay-Z wins in perfume contract dispute

By | Published on Thursday 11 November 2021


A jury in New York yesterday sided with Jay-Z in his legal battle with perfume company Parlux. Well, they ruled that the rapper wasn’t liable to pay $68 million in damages to his former business partner. They also concluded that Parlux didn’t owe the rapper $6 million in unpaid royalties. But on balance, that still seems like a win for the Jay-Z team.

Parlux partnered with Jay-Z to launch a perfume brand back in 2013. But the fragrance firm said that the rapper failed to fulfil his commitments to promote Gold Jay-Z, ultimately resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

The perfume company first went legal in 2016, resulting in lots of legal wrangling as the Jay-Z side tried to prevent Parlux’s lawyers from getting access to the rapper’s work diary, while also objecting to the recording of a deposition. Meanwhile, Parlux hit out when it turned out Jay-Z’s team had deleted a stack of emails that might have been relevant to the case. And along the way the rapper countersued for the allegedly unpaid royalties.

When the case finally got to court, most attention fell on Jay-Z’s entertaining testimony in which he sparred with Parlux’s lawyer Anthony Viola.

The rapper argued that the reason Gold Jay-Z failed was because Parlux didn’t know how to market such a prestigious product, coming up with various “crappy, lazy” promotional ideas. That testimony was a highlight in an otherwise pretty tedious three week trial.

In the end, the jury took only two hours to reach their conclusion. After jurors confirmed that they did not believe either side was liable to pay monies to the other party, judge Andrew Borrok declared: “You failed to prove your case and they failed to prove their case”, before telling the jury, “You’re excused”.

The Jay-Z side has already welcomed the judgement, while Parlux has indicated it plans to appeal.