It looks like things between Baby Blue, Spectacular, Slick ‘Em and Pleasure aren’t that pretty after all.
Less than a week after the remaining members of Pretty Ricky declared their relationship with Pleasure was cordial , MTV News has obtained a federal complaint filed on behalf of the departed singer by his attorneys Robert Meloni and Steve Schwartz.
In the complaint, Pleasure (real name: Marcus Cooper), alleges a number of wrongdoings against Joseph “Blue” Smith — Baby Blue and Spectacular’s dad and the head of Bluestar Entertainment, the company Pretty Ricky is signed to in a deal with Atlantic Records. The group’s management and booking company, International Artist Agency, is also named in the suit.
According to Pleasure, Smith deceived the singer by first acting as a surrogate father to him and also serving in roles that were conflicts of interest for Pleasure and the group, including acting as a personal manager, business manager, booking agent, record exec and music publisher. The suit alleges that Smith “exploited conflict of interests in the competing roles he occupied in Cooper’s life.”
International Artist Agency, headed by Stephen Brush, is alleged to have abetted a number of Smith’s practices, according to the complaint.
Pleasure, according to the information filed earlier this week, is seeking a release from his contract with Bluestar and back pay owed to him. The suit claims that the former Pretty Ricky star has not been properly compensated for his contributions to the group, whose two albums have both been certified gold, pushing more than 500, 000 copies each.
The suit also alleges that Smith used physical intimidation. According to the complaint, when Pleasure began to distance himself from the group and sought out the friendship of others, in one instance, Smith attacked a friend of the singer’s as a means of coercion.
Pleasure first raised eyebrows earlier this year on the red carpet at the BET Hip Hop Awards, when he announced he was leaving the successful act. The group’s only singer told the media he would be pursuing a solo career instead.
According to Meloni, one of Pleasure’s attorneys, a formal notification stating the singer’s withdrawal from the group was sent to Bluestar and Atlantic Records in August, prior to the public announcement.
Meloni explained to MTV News that Pleasure’s complaint was first drawn up as a draft and sent to the offices of Bluestar as a notice. Meloni said the action was done in hopes of avoiding litigation. According to a press release sent Monday, however, Bluestar has filed a lawsuit of its own against Pleasure for breach of contract.
In an interview with MTV News last week, Baby Blue confirmed that Pleasure was still under contract with Bluestar and that both parties were negotiating terms for the release of Pleasure’s solo album.
Those plans seem to be on hold for now in the wake of Pleasure’s lawsuit.
A representative for International Artist Agency was unavailable for comment as of press time.