The lawsuit states that Kenyohn Clark of Maryland-based Wet Entertainment and booking agent Mike Esterman reached an agreement to pay Ne-Yo a total of $140,000 for the gig at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center. The singer was allegedly paid $95,000 up front for the appearance, but, according to the lawsuit, he never showed up.
Esterman, also named in the lawsuit, is being sued for $1 million in damages for not ensuring Ne-Yo’s appearance and for allegedly failing to return the fees paid by Wet Entertainment.
In February of 2009, Esterman told MTV News that the lawsuit is without merit. “I still don’t know anything about the details,” he said. “All that I know is that this is a frivolous lawsuit. The guy is looking for a free payday. The promoter is looking for a lottery ticket to make some big money off of a big name.”
Bowie & Jensen, the law firm representing Wet Entertainment, issued a press release today stating Ne-Yo and his team will indeed go to trial in Annapolis at the end of July in Anne Arundel County.
“Ne-Yo failed to appear at a New Year’s Eve concert and no defense exists that would excuse his failure to appear,” the lawsuit states, adding Clark’s and Wet Entertainment’s “reputations in the music industry and entertainment community have been damaged.”
Bowie & Jensen further stated that Ne-Yo backed out “at the last minute, after tickets ranging from $125 to $1,275 for a platinum VIP package were sold, first class airline tickets were booked and swank hotel rooms were paid for. Partygoers and planners were left with a stack of bills, unhappy guests and damaged reputations in an industry where who can deliver the best performer is the difference between career success and failure.”
The plaintiffs seek at total of $500,000.