Nicole Scherzinger Sued By Pussycat Dolls Manager Over ‘Extortion’
Nicole Scherzinger is being sued by Pussycat Dolls manager Robin Antin, due to reportedly refusing to take part in the group’s reunion.
Antin is the founder of the popular girl group and dance ensemble, and also the choreographer. Scherzinger currently owns 49% of the company, however she has allegedly demanded her shares increase to 75%.
According to Antin, the singer wants full creative control of the band and also a greater share in the pop group’s new business venture.
The Pussycat Dolls split in 2009, with it being reported by media outlets that there had been tension brewing between members of the group for some time.
However, in November 2019, five of the six members of the group agreed to a reunion and a live tour. Scherzinger was set to be joined once more by Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Carmit Bachar and Kimberly Wyatt.
The sixth member of the band, Melody Thornton, refused to take part in the tour, previously telling Lorraine she felt ‘vocally under-used’.
On the other hand, Scherzinger agreed to be an ‘active member’ of the tour, according to court papers. This included making up to 45 live appearances as part of the group.
The reunion would see old hits performed, such as Jai Ho and Don’t Cha, as well as new single React, which was released upon the group announcing the tour.
Antin filed the complaint against Scherzinger on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The document includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is a short-form agreement drawn up and signed ahead of the announcement that the group would be going on tour.
The MoU shows that 12.5% of the net profits of the tour would go to Roberts, Wyatt and Sutta. Antin also would receive 12.5% and is titled as the ‘chief executive officer, director and sole owner of PCD’.
Bachar, who left the band in 2008 prior to the release of the group’s second album, was meant to join the rest of the girls on the tour with a share of 5%. Scherzinger, known as the face of the group and lead singer, would take home a 32.5% share.
As well as her 32.5% share in the stakes, Scherzinger would also receive a 49% stake in PCD Worldwide, which is a new Pussycat Dolls business venture. The singer was awarded this share in the company due to her engagement in the reunion tour.
The new PCD Worldwide business venture is suggested by the lawsuit as setting up a ‘new generation’ of Pussycat Dolls, featuring ‘some or all new singers’ and also a PCD dance studio.
In 2019, Scherzinger initially agreed to the 49% share in PCD Worldwide, however it is reported that she later stated she wanted this to increase to 75%, according to court documents.
In April 2021, Scherzinger sent an email to Antin in a bid to renegotiate the contract, allegedly saying she wouldn’t take part in the reunion tour if her share in the company wasn’t increased, BBC News reports.
The singer’s reasons behind her demand were due to the ‘growth of her personal brand’ and also the ‘opportunities she would have to forego to continue to engage the partnership’ with Antin and the group.
Antin refused Scherzinger’s demand, calling it ‘extortion’ in the lawsuit. She claimed that, under the MoU she had signed two years previously, the singer was already contractually obliged to take part in the reunion tour.
The coronavirus pandemic caused delays to the tour but the band assured the lives dates would be rescheduled when safe to do so. However, due to the lawsuit, the dates have yet to be re-organised. Ahead of the reunion, Live Nation invested $600,000 (£434,000) to partner with the group, which it has demanded be returned if the reunion concerts do not eventually go ahead.
Scherzinger has yet to publicly respond to Antin’s lawsuit.
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