Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his company, S. Carter Enterprises are currently on trial after being accused of bailing out on his contractual obligations to promote and develop perfume scents for Parlux Fragrances, including Parlux’s Gold Jay-Z brand perfume. However, Hov’s lawyers contend that Parlux’s distribution of the product, which was sold at down-market retailers, was in direct contrast to the mogul’s public image, accusing the perfume maker of attempting to run his brand into the ground to try and make a buck.”
According to documents obtained by VIBE, Carter struck a deal with Parlux Fragrances and parent company Perfumania Holdings Inc. in April 2012 that included contractually obligated promotional appearances and an agreement to assist the company on product development. Yet, he allegedly failed to uphold either of those obligations, skipping out on multiple promotional events, touting Gold Jay-Z’s 2013 Black Friday launch at Macy’s while continuing to rake in the profits.
“Jay-Z made a deal, but then abandoned his partners … as if he was above the law,” Parlux attorney Anthony Viola alleged on Monday morning (Oct. 18) while giving his opening statements. “At virtually every major point in the life cycle of this business, Jay-Z turned his back on Parlux. In the meantime, he kept collecting royalty checks.”
In response, Carter’s attorney Alex Spiro argued that Parlux’s decision to launch Gold Jay-Z at retail Macy’s went against his wishes to debut the product line at Barney’s department store, a choice he was empowered to make, according to Spiro. “Jay-Z needed this to be a high-end product that fit with his brand,” he argued as he addressed the jurors. “He didn’t want a product on the shelves of Walmart between hand sanitizer and Tic Tacs.”
Viola alleges that Jay-Z planned to balk on his agreement with Parlux Fragrances all along, pointing to the deletion of emails tied to the case, which Hov was found guilty of ordering by New York state court Justice Andrew Borrok last year. “We don’t have all the evidence because Jay-Z and his company destroyed evidence the same month that Parlux sued them,” Viola said. Spiro scoffed at Viola’s accusation that the deletion of the emails was a calculated effort on the part of his client, attributing it to an honest mistake by an IT worker.
In the initial, 2016 lawsuit filing against Jay-Z in New York state, Parlux Fragrances and Perfumania Holdings Inc. claim to have lost $18 million following Hov and S. Carter Enterprises LLC’s breach of contract.