Mariah Carey is being countersued by a South American concert promoter who claims she didn’t have the right to “unilaterally cancel” two fall performances, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in California federal court.
Carey in January of last year sued FEG Entretenimientos for breach of contract, claiming she canceled the October 2016 shows in Argentina and Chile because the promoter didn’t pay her in full by the agreed upon date.
In addition to answering the claims and asserting several affirmative defenses, FEG filed counterclaims against Carey and her company, Mirage Entertainment, for breach of contract and defamation.
FEG, also known as Fenix, claims it has a long history of working with UTA-signed artists and, while it doesn’t always strictly adhere to payment schedules, the artists are always paid in full for their performances.
According to the filing, the tour agreements for the two concerts were dated June 21, 2016, but they weren’t executed and delivered to UTA until late September. Plus, Fenix claims, there was no language in the contracts that explained “‘time is of the essence’ or any similar wording indicating that failure to substantially comply would result in termination of the Argeement.”
Carey was due to perform Oct. 28, 2016, in Argentina and on Oct. 30, 2016, in Chile, but by Oct. 25 of that year there was still a large unpaid balance for both of the shows and the singer canceled. Fenix claims it had paid about 75 percent of the funds due by that point, and it found out about Carey’s decision to cancel through the media. According to the complaint, the singer was required to give Felix 48 hours to fix any failure of its obligations before she could terminate the agreement.
“Carey’s unilateral cancellation of the Argentina and Chile Performances — a mere three days prior to the Argentina Performance and less than a week before the Chile Performance — constituted material breaches of her obligations under each of the Tour Agreements,” writes attorney Robert Allen.
Fenix also claims Carey made false and defamatory statements on Twitter, suggesting the shows were canceled because of promoter negligence, which caused its customers to doubt its ability to pay performers.
The promoter is seeking upwards of $1 million in damages arising from the canceled shows, plus another $2 million in damages for defamation.