Jay-Z Officially Wins $67.6 Million Lawsuit Over Cologne Deal Turned Sour

Jay-Z Team ROC

Photo Credit: The Come Up Show / CC by 2.0

Jay-Z has officially emerged victorious in his roughly six-year, $67.6 million lawsuit with Parlux Fragrances.

A jury in Jay-Z’s native New York just recently cleared the rapper and businessman of liability in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit, which centered on a nearly decade-old fragrance deal that turned sour. Said fragrance deal specifically involved a line called Gold Jay-Z, and Parlux claimed in its complaint that the cologne’s commercial failure had resulted from Jay-Z’s refusal to honor promotional obligations.

Among these purported obligations were that Jay-Z “‘turn Black Friday into Gold Friday’” after Thanksgiving in 2013 by appearing “‘on Good Morning America followed by a quick appearance at the Sephora on Times Square,’” according to an email sent by former Parlux president Donald Loftus and disclosed in the multifaceted lawsuit. (Loftus in the same November 21st, 2013, email indicated that “‘we are very far away from what we had envisioned as the most exciting fragrance launch of the year.’”)

Predictably, given the long-running legal showdown and the commercial failure of Gold Jay-Z, the 51-year-old artist didn’t promote the cologne immediately following Thanksgiving in 2013, but instead stayed “home in his apartment in Manhattan on that day,” per the plaintiffs. Further complicating the situation, Jay-Z embarked on the North American leg of his Magna Carter World Tour the following Saturday, November 30th, with a show in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

And Jay-Z – who has sold stakes in Tidal and Armand de Brignac in 2021 – levied a firmly worded counterclaim against Parlux, arguing that he was owed millions more in royalties under the contract for the cologne. “The minimum-guarantee royalty for the five-year contract term was $6.25 million,” Jay-Z’s attorney said. (There was some dispute as to the precise amount that Jay-Z received, as well as whether a $750,000 upfront payment was a credit against future royalties.)

Now, following years of litigation and extensive testimonies from Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez and Jay-Z himself, the Reasonable Doubt creator has been cleared by a jury.

The jurors took approximately two hours to reject Parlux’s over $67 million case against Jay-Z, per Law 360, in addition to tossing the aforementioned royalties countersuit. Jay-Z appeared pleased with the verdicts while exiting the courtroom, whereas a representative for the plaintiffs said in a widely circulated statement: “Parlux believes it presented a strong case and is disappointed that the jury rendered a verdict today finding that neither side proved breach by the other.” The entity also intends “to pursue all legal options available to it.”

Earlier this year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jay-Z made headlines for a feud with Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash and a copyright infringement lawsuit involving a ’60s guitar riff by soul musician Ernie Hines. And back in June of 2020, Jay-Z and Beyonce were sued for allegedly sampling a speech in “Black Effect” without the permission of Jamaica-based artist and choreographer Dr. Lenora Antoinette Stines.

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