Spice Girls Slapped With $1.5 Million Judgment

The Spice Girls must pay an Italian scooter maker an estimated $1.5 million in damages and legal costs for misrepresenting themselves in a deal to promote the company's vehicles, the London Court of A

The Spice Girls must pay an Italian scooter maker an estimated $1.5 million in damages and legal costs for misrepresenting themselves in a deal to promote the company's vehicles, the London Court of Appeal ruled yesterday (Jan. 24). In a long-running dispute, the pop group had sued Aprilia for $316,000 in unpaid fees from the company's $835,000 sponsorship deal for a 1998 world tour.

But in February 2000, the High Court ruled that the group was guilty of misrepresentation for not telling Aprilia that group member "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell had left the Spice Girls when it signed the contract to promote the scooters.

The High Court ordered the Spice Girls to pay $67,000 for scooters Aprilia supplied to the band members, plus legal costs. The Spice Girls appealed the ruling and Aprilia counter-appealed, seeking increased damages.

Three appeals judges said yesterday that the Spice Girls clearly knew about Halliwell's impending departure when they signed the contract -- a misrepresentation of the facts that had a greater impact on Aprilia's trading than expected.

The judges awarded Aprilia increased damages and ordered the Spice Girls to pay the company's legal costs. The figure for damages was not disclosed.

Relations soured between the group and the Italian company after Halliwell's sudden departure in May 1998, a month after the deal was signed. As part of its tour promotion, Aprilia made a Spice Sonic scooter with a silhouette of all five members on it. That product flopped when Halliwell left, the company said.

The group's attorneys argued that Halliwell had said she wouldn't leave until the end of an American tour in September 1998, which wouldn't affect the contract. But she changed her mind and quit without warning in May.


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