Ashanti Testifies In Contract Dispute

Ashanti told a New York courtroom yesterday (Sept. 18) that she was a teenager trying to follow her dream when she worked a decade ago with a producer who wants more than $2 million for helping start

Ashanti told a New York courtroom yesterday (Sept. 18) that she was a teenager trying to follow her dream when she worked a decade ago with a producer who wants more than $2 million for helping start her career.

The singer, now 25, was the first witness at a trial in federal court in Manhattan to determine how much she owes Genard Parker after another jury last year concluded she broke a contract with him.

Latif Doman, representing Parker, now of Ellenwood, Ga., told the jury that contracts Ashanti signed with Parker in 1996 will prove she owes $2.3 million, a percentage of the six million copies she sold of her first three records.

Doman said even fired employees get their last paychecks. "Not only did he not get his last paycheck, he did not even get a thank-you," Doman said.

Ashanti said she and her mother went to Parker's home in 1996 to work on songs that could launch her career. Her attorney, Alan Cominsky, said Parker "couldn't deliver for her" and eventually signed a release that permitted her to go to another record company.

Although Ashanti signed a deal that called for Parker to receive some money from the sales of her first three records with her next record label, that company ultimately rejected her, so she owed Parker nothing from that arrangement, her lawyer said.

Ashanti said she met Parker at a time when she wanted only "to follow my dream. I wanted to be a singer." Cominsky said Parker should receive no more than the $50,000 a judge has already concluded he must be paid.


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