Jay Z is facing a rather hefty $20 million lawsuit from Parlux Fragrances, the perfume distributor responsible for his signature fragrance ‘Gold.’
The company claims he broke promises to promote the line.
Papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court say the entertainer, whose real name is Shawn Carter, was supposed to have made at least six promotional appearances by now to promote the fragrance, which was launched in October 2013. He’s made none.
Parlux Fragrances, which is involved in licensing, designing and marketing celebrity fragrances, says they lined up an appearance on Good Morning America, an exclusive interview with Women’s Wear Daily, an appearance at Macy’s and even several social media posts — but Jay Z would have none of it.
“Jay Z declined … declined … declined … declined” six different times to participate, according to court papers.
At another point, Parlux lawyer Anthony Viola says in papers, the company teamed up with Jacob the Jeweler to create five prototypes of lavish perfume bottles for the fragrance. Each one had solid gold caps and gold drizzled on the exterior. They cost $20,000 each.
“Mr. Carter rejected all of them and kept the prototype,” court papers say.
He also kept his guaranteed $2 million up-front royalty fee, the filing says.
The lawsuit says the initial launch was very successful but “in the fragrance industry, it is virtually impossible to sustain the success of a celebrity fragrance” without both celebrity promotional appearance and “regularly updating and refreshing the brand” with off shoot fragrances.
Viola says Jay Z did not help with those either.
Parlux says its executives met repeatedly with Carter’s business manager, Desiree Perez, in Miami, to present ideas, potential off-shoot fragrances and private collections, but they never got “any substantive feedback from Jay Z or his management team.”
In October 2014, they sent “bottles, cartons and fragrance juices” to Perez for Gold Jay Z Noir, Gold Jay Z Parish Lights, and Gold Jay Z London Underground. At her request, they changed the color of some of the boxes but Carter still hasn’t signed off on the products, court papers say.
As a result, Parlux claims, after getting off to a roaring start in 2014, Gold Jay Z sales flagged in 2015 and the company lost millions in potential sales and development costs.
The company wants the courts to order Jay Z to return the $2 million royalty payment and 300,000 stock shares in Perfumania, void the contract and award them at least $18 million in compensatory damages.
We forgot Jay even had a fragrance.