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Judge says Roc Nation CEO must sit for deposition in Megan Thee Stallion label dispute

By | Published on Monday 23 January 2023

Megan Thee Stallion

A US judge last week ruled that Megan Thee Stallion’s manager – Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez – must sit for a deposition as part of the rapper’s ongoing legal dispute with her label 1501 Certified Entertainment. Megan Thee Stallion’s lawyers had argued that there were insufficient grounds for forcing Perez to answer questions from 1501’s legal team under oath.

The current legal dispute between 1501 and the rapper – real name Megan Pete – centres on whether or not her 2021 release ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ should count as one of the three albums she is obliged to deliver to the label under her record deal.

1501 argues that that release, as a compilation of archive tracks and previously released freestyles, does not count, meaning that the rapper still needs to provide it with one more record to put out. Pete counters that ‘Something For Thee Hotties’ does constitute an album under the terms of her record contract and therefore she has fulfilled her obligations to the label. Both sides also accuse the other of owing them money.

As part of the legal battle, 1501 requested a deposition with Perez in her guise as Pete’s manager, so that they could ask her questions under oath. Pete’s team objected to that request, citing rules in US law that are designed to stop people from deposing high profile executives mainly to inconvenience and/or embarrass said executives, so to pressure the other side in a dispute to settle.

Under those rules, people seeking to depose a high profile exec must demonstrate that that exec has specific knowledge that is important to a case, and that there aren’t less intrusive ways to access that information, for example by deposing someone more junior. Pete’s lawyers argued that 1501 hadn’t met those requirements.

They also said that forcing Perez to sit for a deposition would negatively impact the rapper too, stating: “Perez is extremely busy working for Pete and other Roc Nation artists. Preparing and sitting for a deposition would cut into the time Perez can spend advancing Pete’s interests”.

For its part, 1501 insisted that Perez was a key witness in this case, with “direct, personal and substantial” involvement in the record contracts under dispute, and in past conversations between artist and label on the status of ‘Something For Thee Hotties’.

According to Billboard, last week the judge overseeing the case, Robert Schaffer, sided with the label, declining to issue an order stating that 1501 could not depose the Roc Nation chief. He didn’t provide any detail on the rationale behind that decision.

It’s not clear when that deposition will now take place, with neither side as yet commenting on last week’s decision.