Ruben Settles Suit; Clay Graduates College
"American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard has settled his lawsuit against a hip-hop clothing maker. Studdard's attorney, Byron Perkins, wouldn't release details of the settlement with 205 Flava Inc."American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard has settled his lawsuit against a hip-hop clothing maker. Studdard's attorney, Byron Perkins, wouldn't release details of the settlement with 205 Flava Inc. But he did say that the parent company of "American Idol," the U.K.-based 19-Entertainment, will begin marketing 205 Flava products.
Studdard filed the lawsuit in August, saying the company unfairly profited by using his unauthorized image to sell its clothing. Studdard wore jerseys emblazoned with 205 -- the area code of his Birmingham, Ala., hometown -- while he competed on "American Idol" last spring.
But 205 Flava's owners, brothers Frederick and Will Jenkins, said they secretly paid Studdard to wear the jerseys on "American Idol," despite the program's ban on such deals.
Frederick Jenkins said both sides had been negotiating since November. He wouldn't reveal the amount of the settlement. "I think some great things will come out of it," he said. He added that he and his brother will maintain ownership of 205 Flava, but that 19 Entertainment will market and license the shirts more quickly than their business.
Meanwhile, "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken graduated Saturday from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Aiken received a bachelor of arts degree in special education from UNCC's College of Education during an afternoon ceremony at the school's Halton Arena.
Aiken's name was not mentioned during the ceremony until he walked across the stage, the very last of 593 degree recipients who walked in the ceremony. He was listed as "Clayton Aiken ... Raleigh" on the 31st page of the commencement program.
Flashbulbs popped throughout the arena as Aiken approached the stage. There was applause, mixed with some boos, as his name was announced. Chancellor James Woodward then called Aiken to the stage.
"This has been an amazing year for me," the vocalist said. "This is more special to me than a lot of the things that have happened to me this year, because what happens here today says something to people. This is a day that makes for all of us a statement ... how important it is to persevere and continue to work and strive to succeed."
At a news conference after the ceremony, Aiken and others announced several initiatives by the Bubel Aiken Foundation, a charitable organization started this summer to help disabled children. Aiken was a mentor to Mike Bubel, a teenager with autism, while he studied at UNCC.
Wachovia and MBNA are to offer a Bubel Aiken Foundation credit card. The foundation also announced partnerships with Krispy Kreme, the President's Volunteer Service Award program and Youth Service America.
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