Group sues over canceled Desiigner concert at Morehouse College

Group sues over canceled Desiigner concert at Morehouse College

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NARAS
Rapper Desiigner attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 

A recent lawsuit claims that rapper Desiigner’s decision to not perform a concert at Morehouse College last year cost organizers at least $55,000.

The Atlanta Greek Picnic organization also alleges that other defendants — John Wardlow of Goodlife Entertainment and Jennifer Davis of JaeC Management Service — committed fraud regarding the promised June 2016 performance.

The exact reasons for the cancellation are in dispute. Even AGP’s attorney, Steven J. Strelzik, said it’s unclear if the other defendants had prior authorization from the artist to book the show.

Davis said she “didn’t have anything to do with Desiigner not showing up.” Wardlow and Desiigner, whose real name is Sidney Royel Selby III, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Desiigner, 20, is known for his single “Panda” and is based in New York.

AGP, which hosts events for fraternity and sorority chapter members, signed a contract with Wardlow and communicated with Davis, according to the Aug. 25 lawsuit. The suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, says Wardlow represented himself as an authorized agent and Davis represented herself as a booking agent for Desiigner.

AGP paid a deposit of $20,000 and a booking fee of $4,000, the lawsuit says. The plaintiffs claim Wardlow then demanded $35,000 more. AGP objected and asked the original contract be honored.

The $24,000 wasn’t returned after the rapper failed to appear, the suit claims.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys sent The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a copy of a letter from Robert A. Celestin, an attorney who said he represented Desiigner. Celestin said a “middle-man” contacted Desiigner’s manager in early May to connect her with Wardlow to book him for the show. 

The reason for the no-show was Desiigner wasn’t paid, the letter said.

“It seems to me that your client, AGP, may have been ‘scammed’ by Mr. Wardlow and/or (the middle man),” Celestin added.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the letter didn’t convince them the rapper isn’t liable.

AGP seeks at least $55,000 in damages for amounts spent in promotion for the event, for amounts paid to defendants and for loss of reputation.

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