Big Freedia has sued a former choreographer, seeking a declaration of ownership for choreography and music from the time they worked together.
The lawsuit from Freedia (real name: Freddie Ross Jr.) was filed in federal court last week against Wilberto Dejarnetti, a character on Freedia’s reality television show Queen of Bounce on Fuse, NOLA.com/Times-Picayune reported.
The lawsuit states Dejarnetti worked with Big Freedia and her dance team from 2014 to 2017 on routines for the songs “Just Be Free Intro,” “NO Bounce,” “Explode,” “Shake Session Medley,” “Dangerous,” “Best Beeleevah” and “Drop.”
The lawsuit says Big Freedia ended the relationship last year because “Dejarnetti’s behavior was frequently erratic, and his temperamental nature caused turmoil and strife” within Ross’ team.
The lawsuit says Dejarnetti has sought continued royalties of $500 per month for dance routines that Freedia’s lawyers say were “largely based on and derivative of traditional ‘bounce’ dance movements and other routines Mr. Ross and his dancers had been employing for years.”
The lawsuit also says Dejarnetti has already been paid for his services. The newspaper was unable to reach Dejarnetti for comment.
The lawsuit said Dejarnetti has also claimed to have co-written some songs. Freedia’s lawyers say while Dejarnetti may have been present during the recording, he had no “copyrightable” role in the music.
The lawsuits states Big Freedia tried to reach a resolution with Dejarnetti, but had run out of options for amicable resolution.
In addition to an ownership declaration, the lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.