Roc Nation Files Counterclaim Against Rita Ora -- But Ora's Attorney Says Out-of-Court Settlement Is Near
Roc Nation has responded to a suit brought by British singer Rita Ora last month -- in which the singer's legal team accused the company of a "diminished" status and herself as being "orphaned" by the label that Jay Z co-founded -- charging the singer of being in breach of her five-album contract.
In its cross-complaint, filed last Friday (Jan. 29) in California Superior Court, says it has "tirelessly promoted" Ora's career, spending over $2.3 million promoting and recording her 2012 album Ora. The filing calls for that $2.3 million to be returned, and for damages on the four remaining records in her contract.
But it sounds like the dispute is very near a out-of-court resolution, which would avoid a interpretation-setting deployment of the "seven-year rule" set in California during Hollywood's golden age.
Ora's attorney in the case, Howard E. King of King, Holmes, Paterno and Berliner, LLP, tells Billboard that Roc Nation was all but required to file the counterclaim or lose any standing in the case. King says, however, that Jay Z called Ora shortly after she filed suit for release from the label telling her all was well, and that she would be released from the Roc Nation contract. "We're in the process of finalizing those details," says King. "[Jay Z] could not have been more gracious."
King tells Billboard that the only complication in resolving the contract dispute lies between Jay Z and Sony Music. "It was just a little twist, because Jay Z, we are told, has to answer to Sony Music, so that's been the hangup in having this go away. But we're confident that Jay can resolve whatever he has to with Sony Music."
In her initial filing, Ora said that she had produced additional material following Ora, but that Roc Nation had not released those recordings. Financial details of the contract between Ora and Roc Nation, attached in the latest court filing, were redacted.