French Artist Didier Marouani, in Moscow to Retrieve a Settlement, Ends Up in Jail Instead

Gennadiy Gulyaev/Kommersant via Getty Images

The leader of a cult French band Space Didier Marouani talks to journalists after he was detained in Moscow with his Russian representative Igor Trunov on suspicion of extorting following a plagiarism dispute with a Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov on Nov. 30, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.

A bizarre series of events unfolds over alleged plagiarism.

French musician and composer Didier Marouani is preparing to file a lawsuit in a United States court against Sony and Russian pop star Filipp Kirkorov over the alleged plagiarizing of his song.

"Sony Music Entertainment put out the album, on which the plagiarized song appeared," Ludmila Aivar, a Russian lawyer for Marouani, tells Billboard. "Also, Kirkorov owns real estate in the United States, which makes the U.S. court suitable for this litigation."

Sony Music declined to comment on the suit, as did Kirkorov's spokesman.

The controversy broke out several weeks ago when Marouani, the front man of the band Space, accused Kirkorov of plagiarizing Space's song "Symphonic Space Dream," which the Russian singer released as "Zhestokaya Lyubov (Cruel Love)" on his 2003 album Neznakomka (Unknown Woman).

Last week, Marouani and his Russian representative arrived for a planned meeting in Moscow with Kirkorov's representatives, with the intention to sign an out-of-court settlement and collect 1 million euros. However, they were picked up by police on charges of extortion after Kirkorov's complaint. Marouani spent several hours in a police station before he was released and returned to France.

According to Aivar, by filing his complaint, Kirkorov tried to intimidate Marouani and make sure that no one else accuses him of plagiarism in the future. She added that Marouani had filed complaints regarding his unlawful detention.

The Moscow police said they won't open a criminal investigation into an alleged extortion by Marouani.

Meanwhile on Dec. 8, Sergei Solopov, the head of Moscow police, was fired. Earlier, the Russian tabloid Life reported that he was the main initiator of detaining Marouani.

The below video mashes up the two songs:


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