A United Kingdom promotional company, Zons PR have sued rapper Rick Ross, his sister Tawanda Roberts and his manager Michael Lighty for cancelling their appearance in 2011 Star Mega Jam concert in Nigeria.
The company filed the suit in the Supreme Court of New York and is demanding $2 million in damages from the defendants.
Zons P.R. was hired on behalf of Star Lager beer, a brand affiliate of Heineken.
The annual Star Mega Jam has been taking place in Nigeria since 2000 and draws as many as 50,000 people to the concert, which is the largest of its kind in West Africa.
Rick Ross was supposed to headline the 2011 Star Mega Jam concert, which was to take place on December 17, 2011. He was also supposed to perform during the Cross River State Calabar Christmas Festival in December 28.
Although it was speculated that the rapper cancelled the trip to Nigeria for health reasons, his manager had denied the claims saying it had to do with “unfulfilled contractual obligations.”
The lawsuit claims that Zons P.R. began to negotiate with Rick Ross’s sister Tawanda Roberts, who acts as his manager, on behalf of Rick Ross.
According to an online Entertainment news blog site, Allhiphop.com, Zons P.R. deposited $87,500 into Rick Ross’s account, with the agreement that Rick Ross would execute certain obligations (like promotional drops) prior to the concert, which he never produced.
The company also claims that Rick Ross began to raise questions about his security in Nigeria and finally, on November 10, 2011 the rapper cancelled the performance, citing “the violent events in Nigeria.”
The lawsuit claims that Rick Ross was supposed to return the $87,500 deposit to Zons P.R., but failed to do so.
Zons P.R said that when they realized they were not getting their deposit back, they attempted to renegotiate for a future performance, but the rapper refused to comply.
“In truth and in fact the defendant had no intention of returning said deposit,” the lawsuit reads. “To date no part of the deposit has been returned.”