Lawyers for singer R. Kelly were said to be filing a criminal complaint against a member of rapper Jay-Z’s entourage and considering other legal action after the platinum-selling stars’ joint tour came to an abrupt end. Meanwhile, Jay-Z’s camp is citing Kelly’s “lack of professionalism and unpredictable behavior” for preventing the tour from continuing.
Jay-Z and R. Kelly were in the midst of the 40-city Best of Both Worlds tour, which has been beset by canceled shows and reports that the feuding performers weren’t even on speaking terms. The trek, which had been scheduled to run through Nov. 28, has been canceled. The final show is tonight (Nov. 1) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Kelly was booted from remaining shows at MSG by promoter Jeff Sharp of Atlanta Worldwide Touring Saturday (Oct. 30), a day after a member of Jay-Z’s entourage allegedly blasted Kelly with pepper spray, according to Kelly’s publicist, Allan Mayer. Sharp said that Jay-Z, with special guests, would do the shows alone.
Mayer says Kelly’s lawyers will file a complaint against the entourage member and considering action over the decision to remove Kelly from the tour. “The fans deserve better than this,” Kelly says in a statement. “I’d like the show to go on. It’s really disappointing that Jay-Z and the promoter don’t.”
A statement from Jay-Z’s camp responds, “Mr. Kelly has cancelled three performances with less than 24 hours’ notice and has delayed multiple shows by hours. On Friday, Oct. 29, at a sold-out
Madison Square Garden Show, Mr. Kelly made a statement from the stage claiming members of the audience were waving guns. Jay-Z sees that statement as the equivalent of screaming ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and was unable to continue with someone whose actions could potentially create a dangerous situation. Later that evening, on New York radio station Hot 97, R. Kelly
admitted that he didn’t actually see any guns. Jay will not allow his fans and touring personnel to be subjected to an unsafe environment created by his co-headliner.”
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