In a case that may remind readers in New York that it can be difficult to remain business partners with a romantic partner after the spark is gone, pop singer Shakira is facing a $100 million lawsuit from her former boyfriend, who also once worked as her business representative. The ex is claiming that Shakira broke an agreement to pay him a portion of her profits after firing him in 2011.
Shakira and the plaintiff dated for more than 10 years before the relationship ended in 2010. But according to the ex-boyfriend, he and Shakira decided that the end of their romance did not mean the end of their professional relationship. In a lawsuit filed recently in Manhattan Supreme Court, the ex says that Shakira hired him to manage "the business behind the Shakira brand." He says his responsibilities were significant and brought in a great deal of money, including a $300 million deal with Live Nation to promote Shakira's tours.
After about a year working for Shakira, the singer fired her ex-boyfriend in 2011, the lawsuit says. An article about the litigation does not provide details about why the plaintiff was fired. The ex contends that Shakira promised to pay him a percentage of her earnings but never did so. He is asking for $100 million.
One factor that is likely to come up in this case is whether the parties had a written contract that promised the plaintiff a certain share in the profits. Given the prior personal relationship between Shakira and the plaintiff, there is a chance that the employment agreement was oral -- that is, spoken but never committed to writing. In cases where breach of contract is alleged, proving that a contract existed is generally more difficult when there is no written document.
Source: kypost.com, "Shakira sued by ex-boyfriend," Nov. 21, 2012
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