Michele and her label, Def Jam, along with her parents, Lynette and Lemuel Payne, are being sued for $20 million by Four Kings Productions, Inc. The suit claims that she engaged in unlawful activity to try to get out of her contract.
But this whole situation has a bit of a history stemming from a 2007 lawsuit the singer filed against Four Kings, alleging CEO Douglas “Briggs” Elison was embezzling money from her Def Jam contract and harassed her.
Michele went on to drop the suit, but Biggs says his credibility was shot because of the suit. And he makes other accusations as well.
“As soon as the artist’s mother saw that Chrisette was receiving money, all a direct result of the efforts of the production company under its contracts with the artist, Lynette Payne quit her job as a teacher and, in willful disregard of the artist’s contractual obligations to Four Kings, usurped management functions regarding her daughter’s newly found success, in an effort to keep the money in the family,” Ellison stated in the lawsuit.
But Chrisette Michele’s publicist says the real issue here is from a romantic love lost and a “gold digging manager getting caught.”
“This is just a case of the jilted lover and gold digging manager getting caught,” Brown told allhiphop in a 2008 interview. “The Paynes and Mr. Berry did not unlawfully try to get Chrisette out of her contract with Four Kings. Mr. Ellison’s devious plot to exploit and rip Chrisette off began to be revealed.”