MTV News Online
After announcing that he had filed a $2 million lawsuit against Blackstreet founder and former bandmate Teddy Riley, the group's Chauncey Hannibal has issued a statement saying he never took any legal action against Riley.
"Obviously, there have been creative and artistic differences that have arisen between myself and Mr. Riley," reads the statement sent to MTV News.
"I feel it is necessary to make this statement in order to express my regret for the false statements which were made about Teddy, by the media and others," Hannibal's statement continues. "Please understand that I am not, nor have I ever, taken legal action against Teddy Riley or his agents or assigns. Additionally, I am not seeking two million dollars from Teddy Riley or his record label LOR Records."
In May, Hannibal told MTV News that he had filed a $2 million lawsuit charging Riley with misappropriation of funds. The statement, dated June 22, also says Riley had developed the concept of Blackstreet in 1993 and that Riley had given Hannibal the opportunity to develop his artistic talents, which then led to a successful musical career.
Hannibal says in the statement that he issued it "to express credit where it is due, and to express my desire to move beyond the legal action which has commanded a significant amount of both mine and Teddy's time."
Shortly after Hannibal's initial statements to the press and the release of Hannibal's song "Shame on You," which purportedly accused Riley of theft, Riley launched his own $2 million lawsuit charging Hannibal with defamation of character and slander.
According to Riley, he considers the statement an apology, and the issue has now been settled.
Riley and Hannibal, who goes by the stage name Chauncey Black formed Blackstreet in 1993. Their 1996 hit "No Diggity" (RealAudio excerpt) sold 8 million copies. Riley also was a founding member of the New Jack Swing vocal group Guy, who released an unsuccessful comeback album, Guy III, in 1999.
(Sonicnet.com Contributing Editor Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen contributed to this report.)