On the war of the Worlds scoreboard, tally one for R. Kelly, zero for Jay-Z. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge granted a motion on Monday to dismiss both of the rapper's counterclaims against the R&B singer.
"[As of this morning], Kelly's case against Jay-Z still proceeds, but Jay-Z has no case against R. Kelly," Kelly's spokesperson Allan Mayer said Monday.
Kelly filed a $75 million lawsuit against Jay, his business associates and the promoter of the Best of Both Worlds tour in November 2004 after he was kicked off the trek (see "R. Kelly Sues Jay-Z For $75 Million, Claims Sabotage"). The singer alleged in the suit that Jay-Z worked with the tour's lighting manager to sabotage his show. He also claimed one of Jay's associates discharged pepper spray in his face when he tried to return to the stage after fleeing from guns that were waved at him (see "Jay-Z, R. Kelly Part Ways as Best Of Both Worlds Tour Collapses").
In January, Jay-Z slapped R. Kelly with a countersuit claiming the tour's promoter had no choice but to boot the R&B singer. Jay said working with Kelly was "a nightmarish odyssey" and that he'd had enough of Kelly's "unsafe and unpredictable behavior," which included showing up late, canceling concerts, missing rehearsals and leaving shows early in tears (see "Jay-Z Countersues R. Kelly Over What He Calls Their 'Nightmarish Odyssey' ").
"We told the judge there were no grounds for those countersuits," said Kelly's lawyer Edward Hayes, "that they were really just in there to create a bias against him by referring to a lot of things that were irrelevant." He called Judge Charles E. Ramos' decision "a terrific victory" for his client and "a huge setback" for Jay-Z. "It means now there's no downside. It's really him with no countersuit."
Jay-Z's lawyer Jonathan Davis could not be reached for comment at press time.
Since both parties are still in the discovery process, Mayer said a court date likely won't be assigned for a while.