Rick Ross may have $300,000 less in his bank account soon, but he was all smiles when he called MTV News late Thursday in New York.
"I'm sitting in Barneys on 51st and Madison," Ross said. "Had to pick me up a pair of Maison Martin Margiela [sneakers] and two pairs of Louboutins for this Diddy video we shooting this weekend."
On Thursday at the U.S. District Federal Court in New York, a jury of eight awarded DJ Vlad (real name: Vlad Lyubovni) $250,000 in punitive damages and $50,000 in compensatory damages against Ross. The four-day court proceedings stem from an August 10, 2008, incident involving Vlad and Ross' Triple C's group. Vlad alleged that Ross orchestrated an attack on him by the collective at an event at the 2008 Ozone Awards for posting images of Ross dressed in a correctional officer's uniform on his Web site.
In the $4 million suit, Vlad said he suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nose, nerve damage to his face, cheek, upper lip, teeth and gums, and required seven stitches under his right eye following the alleged attack. Ross has always maintained his innocence in the matter.
On Thursday, Ross told MTV News that he's putting the lawsuit behind him and focusing on the June 29 release of his LP, Teflon Don.
"I've been fighting a $4 million lawsuit for the last two years," Ross said. "My defense was a success. I've got to salute Xavier Donaldson, my attorney. Whenever an artist or anybody is put in a position such as a lawsuit in this capacity, so much evidence is represented — videotapes, what have you — to be able to walk out of a courtroom giving the plaintiff less than 10 percent of what he requested, I consider my defense a success. God bless America! The lawsuit is done. Even though I plan to appeal the decision, I thank the courts for the monetary decision that they made. They were extremely lenient, I appreciate that. It's back to the business for the boss."
Although the amount he's paying is nothing to sneeze at, Ross has a positive take on the verdict.
"It's a couple of papers, but it was a two-year-long case," Ross said. "After court expenses, etc., the plaintiff may get $40 or 50K. I'm blessed to be in the situation I'm in. Four mil was at stake. It's behind me."
For his part, Vlad tweeted "Today is a great day" on Friday morning.
Vlad was not available for comment, but on Friday (April 16) his attorney, Brian D. Caplan of Caplan & Ross (no relation to Rick Ross), told MTV News of the verdict: "There is no place in civilized society for members of the media to have to fear retribution for their news coverage and commentary. The jury awarded Mr. Lyubovni $250,000 in punitive damages against Rick Ross to send a message that such conduct will not be tolerated or condoned."