Jennifer Lopez May Face $40 Million Lawsuit After Cyprus Cancellation

Singer gets tangled in political tensions of island nation due to scrapped July concert.

[artist id="508574"]Jennifer Lopez[/artist] is perhaps one of the least political of all pop stars. But though her platform consists almost exclusively of wearing complicated-to-dance-in shoes while shaking her world-famous derriere, Lopez is now embroiled in an international controversy that could cost her tens of millions of dollars.

A hotel on the island of Cyprus is threatening to sue Lopez for $40 million after the "Louboutins" singer pulled out of a scheduled concert there, citing fears of making a political statement on the long-simmering tension in the country, which has been divided since the 1970s, when Turkey invaded the island's northern region.

According to the Cyprus Mail, Lopez was slated to perform at the Cratos Premium Hotel and Casino complex in Northern Cyprus on July 24, an event that Greek Cypriots said would have signaled support of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Lopez's spokesperson announced last week that the singer, who has rarely performed live since a 2007 tour with husband Marc Anthony, would not play the Cyprus show because of "sensitivity to the political realities of the region."

The chief executive of the company that runs the Cratos Premium, Murat Bozoglu, said Lopez's contract for the show was still valid and she still had time to change her mind about performing. "The contract has not been terminated," he said on Sunday. "If she does not show up for the concert, we will begin a procedure in the courts to claim 35-40 million dollars in damages. ... The cancellation ... is not covered by any clause in the contract she signed with us."

He told reporters that because the $220 million resort's image has suffered "severe" damage from the politically motivated cancellation, he has a right to claim compensation for that loss. Surrounded by lawyers, he also noted that the singer's reasoning for calling off the show was not covered by any of the pre-agreed-upon conditions for cancellation in her contract. A spokesperson for Lopez could not be reached for comment at press time.

The paper reported that Lopez pulled out of the gig following strong opposition from online campaigns, including complaints from the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), which felt her appearance would help to legitimize the Turkish occupation. Her handlers hit back at that criticism by releasing a statement that said she "would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse."

Lopez reacted personally on Monday, posting a message on her site apologizing for the confusion about the show. "This whole situation makes me so sad," she wrote. "The statement that was issued by my representatives was done without my knowledge or consent. It is my personal policy not to comment on political issues between countries. I love my fans all over the world. I want to sincerely apologize if anyone was hurt or offended in any way. Again, I am truly sorry."