Business

Jay-Z Must Face Filmed Deposition in Lawsuit Over Failed Fragrance, Despite Fears of a Leak

Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter
Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter attends Criminal Justice Reform Organization Launch at Gerald W. Lynch Theater on Jan. 23, 2019 in New York City. 

The long-awaited deposition will be videotaped in New York on Oct. 4.

Jay-Z's deposition in a lawsuit brought against him by a perfume company must be videotaped, a New York State judge ruled on Tuesday (Oct. 1), despite the businessman and rap mogul's fears that the video could leak.

But to help smooth things over, the original tape will be destroyed and all copies watermarked, according to court documents obtained by Billboard

Fragrance company Parlux originally sued Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) for breach of contract and bad faith back in 2016, alleging that the rapper failed to promote Gold Jay Z, a men's fragrance he launched with Parlux. The case has chugged along slowly since, with attorneys for Jay-Z resisting various demands from the plaintiffs -- including a request last year for "diaries or calendars" to identify why Jay-Z failed to appear at promotional events for the fragrance.

Jay-Z's deposition was supposed to take place on Aug. 27, but was canceled after his team learned that it would be filmed. In a motion filed Sept. 20, attorneys for Jay-Z noted that "depositions of other high-profile celebrities have been leaked" and that it could hurt Jay-Z's brand and reputation if "tabloids like TMZ" got ahold of the footage.

Nonetheless, Judge Andrew Borrok has ruled that the filmed deposition will proceed on Friday (Oct. 4) at Jay-Z's Roc Nation offices in New York. But Borrok came up with a slight solution to quell Jay's fears.

Each party will be provided with three watermarked copies, subject to confidentiality. The company taping the deposition will not be permitted to retain a copy of the original, or upload the deposition to iCloud. Further, Borrok writes, "when the parties receive their three watermarked copies together, they will destroy the original."

Finally, Borrok ruled that Jay-Z's team must pay for the out-of-pocket costs and legal fees incurred for the original, canceled deposition.

In the original filing, Parlux sought the return of advances and royalties paid to Jay-Z (including 300,000 shares of stock in its parent company, Perfumania) and at least $18 million in punitive damages.

Billboard has reached out to both parties for comment.