Jay-Z first gave it to R. Kelly on wax, and now he’s giving it to him in court.
After dissing Kelly for his lawsuit against him on the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” remix, the rapper has now filed a countersuit against the R&B singer in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Kelly filed his $75 million action in November against Jay-Z, his business associates and the tour’s promoter when he got kicked off the Best of Both Worlds tour (see “R. Kelly Sues Jay-Z For $75 Million, Claims Sabotage” ). The duo’s last show together saw Kelly walking off the stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden after telling the audience he thought he saw someone waving a gun at him; he was later pepper-sprayed backstage by one of Jay-Z’s associates (see “Jay-Z, R. Kelly Part Ways As Best Of Both Worlds Tour Collapses” ). But Jay-Z argues in his suit, filed January 24, that the tour promoter was forced to kick Kelly off the trek, which Jay calls a “nightmarish odyssey fueled by R. Kelly’s financial woes, insecurities, and unsafe and unpredictable behavior,” which included showing up late and unprepared, and leaving shows early in tears.
Jay had previously said in a statement at the time of the tour’s cancellation that Kelly had scrapped three performances with less than 24 hours’ notice and delayed multiple shows by hours: “In Chicago and Baltimore, R. Kelly was not ‘ready.’ In Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Hartford, R. Kelly was not ‘willing.’ In St. Louis and New York, R. Kelly was not ‘able.’ ”
Jay-Z, who depicted Kelly’s suit as a “waste of time” in the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” remix (see “Jay-Z Dissing R. Kelly On ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ Remix?” ), now calls Kelly’s lawsuit a “calculated stunt” designed “to deflect attention from his upcoming felony trial involving an alleged sexual liaison with a 14-year-old child.”
In response, Kelly’s lawyer Ed Hayes said that he doesn’t take Jay’s suit “too seriously,” saying his client is “a creative genius, and of course, no one expects geniuses to act like everybody else.”
R. Kelly’s spokesperson Allan Mayer, meanwhile, said, “Jay-Z’s response to R. Kelly’s complaint is remarkable for at least two reasons: First, it is full of factually inaccurate smears of Mr. Kelly that are utterly irrelevant to the issues of the case. Second, it does not deny that after a member of his entourage assaulted Kelly with pepper spray backstage at Madison Square Garden, thus preventing him from performing, Jay-Z breached his contracts by refusing to continue with the tour. It is also notable that the promoter has also sued Jay-Z for these same acts. Mr. Kelly will press on with his case and when the facts are fully laid out in court, it is Jay-Z who will be exposed for his wrongdoing.”
This story was updated at 12:10 p.m. ET.