According to The Associated Press, Brown (born Inga Marchand) was paid $75,000 in 2005 for an autobiography tentatively titled "Broken Silence," and which was due by February 2006. Kim (born Kimberly Jones) signed up in 2003 to write her debut novel by June 2004 and was paid $40,000.
The suit seeks the return of the advances from the two women, each of whom has done prison time since signing her respective deal — Kim in 2005 for lying in a trial about a shooting and Brown in 2007 for violating probation from an earlier altercation with a manicurist.
"Both accepted the money and both books never were delivered," Simon & Schuster spokesperson Adam Rothberg told Bloomberg News on Thursday.
Simon & Schuster has published a number of titles by other rappers, including 50 Cent's autobiography, a series of books by 50, based on his rhymes, and others by members of G-Unit.
"We are disappointed that Simon & Schuster has made the decision to file this lawsuit," said Lil' Kim's lawyer, Bernard H. Jackson III, in a statement to MTV News. "Kim has had every intention to fulfill her obligations under the agreement from day one but there were certain resources that are standard for any book publisher to provide that we felt were not available in order for her to complete the project. Many attempts have been made to resolve this matter privately by Kim and she still looks forward to doing so."
Brown's lawyer, Laura Dilimetin, released this statement to MTV News: "In 2005, after Foxy Brown's delivery of her uniquely personally written synopsis, both Simon & Schuster and Inga Marchand were excited to join together to publish her autobiography, 'Broken Silence,' one of the most highly anticipated books in rap history. Then tragedy struck, and Foxy Brown was diagnosed with sudden severe hearing loss, and her health became a priority. With Simon & Schuster's blessings, Foxy Brown underwent extensive surgical procedures and a lengthy recovery time, fighting to restore her hearing. After returning, we were told that Simon & Schuster decided not to go forward with the project. Many attempts were made by Foxy Brown's agents to resurrect the deal, to no avail. Now that Foxy Brown is being courted by many publishers to negotiate a new book deal, I find it suspect that after all of these years of silence, Simon & Schuster picks now to bring this meritless action when they were the ones to halt the project. Foxy Brown would love to continue with Simon & Schuster and welcomes talks to solidify a deal."
[This story was originally published at 12:07 pm E.T. on 7.25.2008]