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Megan Thee Stallion tries to block deposition of Roc Nation boss in ongoing label dispute

By | Published on Thursday 19 January 2023

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion is trying to stop her label from deposing Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez as part of an ongoing legal battle. 1501 Certified Entertainment wants to question Perez under oath in her guise as the rapper’s manager.

The current legal dispute between 1501 and Megan Thee Stallion – real name Megan Pete – relates to whether or not she has fulfilled her obligations to the label in terms of releases.

Under her record deal she is obliged to deliver three albums to 1501. Pete reckons she has done that, but 1501 argues that the second album she delivered – 2021’s ‘Something For Thee Hotties – didn’t qualify as a proper album as defined in her record contract, because it was basically a compilation of archive recordings and previously released freestyles.

As that dispute goes through the motions, 1501 has requested a deposition with Perez, so they can ask her questions under oath. But in a new legal filing, Pete’s lawyers argue that there aren’t sufficient legal grounds to force the boss of their client’s management firm to subject herself to any such questioning.

There are some principles in US law that make it harder to demand depositions with senior executives at big companies when those senior executives are actually somewhat removed from the specifics of a dispute, even though their company is involved. These principles aim to stop people seeking such depositions mainly to embarrass and inconvenience prominent executives, usually in a bid to pressure the other side into a settlement.

Therefore, to depose Perez, 1501 needs to show she has unique first-hard knowledge relevant to the case and that other less intrusive forms of discovery are not available. Pete’s legal filing this week reckons the label has not met this burden.

“1501’s characterisation of the evidence it cites confirms that it cannot satisfy the standard to take Perez’s deposition”, the legal filing states. “According to 1501, Perez has the requisite knowledge to justify [the deposition] because she signed interrogatory responses, communicated with Pete’s counsel during settlement negotiations and the accounting reconciliation, and was involved with the release of ‘Something For Thee Hotties'”.

“Even if true”, the filing goes on, “1501’s allegations suggest Ms Perez has, at most, some knowledge of the relevant facts”. And that’s not “unique or superior knowledge”. Nor has 1501 demonstrated “an inability to proceed through less intrusive alternatives”. With all that in mind, “the court should grant Pete’s motion for protective relief and quash 1501’s notice of deposition”.

The legal filing also responds to 1501’s claim that Pete herself isn’t in a position to object to its attempts to depose Perez. “1501 argues that Pete lacks standing to object to 1501’s repeated efforts to harass her manager”, it notes before adding: “Not so”.

“1501’s discovery tactics affect Pete because they impede Perez’s ability to represent Pete and implicate Pete’s right to prevent her representative from disclosing potentially privileged information”, it continues.

“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. Thus, contrary to 1501’s assertion, the discovery requests on Perez necessarily affect Pete”.

So there you go. We await to see how 1501 and the judge overseeing the case respond.