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A legal fight between pop singer Shakira and Antonio de la Rua isn’t over, but it won’t be happening in the United States.
In April, the Argentinian businessman sued Shakira for $100 million, alleging that after the two engaged in a romantic relationship, they formed a business partnership to “market, expand, and profit from the ‘Shakira brand.'”
Since de la Rua met Shakira in 2000 while serving as campaign manager for his father’s bid to become president of Argentina, her career has flourished. He says the value of Shakira’s 2008 10-year deal with Live Nation alone is worth $300 million. But de la Rua was kicked aside in 2011, and as a result, he went to court claiming a breach of a partnership agreement.
Unfortunately for the plaintiff, Shakira stuck first, reportedly filing a pre-emptive suit in the Bahamas. On Friday, a LA judge ruled that the Bahamas or Columbia would make a more convenient forum.
As a result, the dispute will travel to a foreign jurisdiction.
De la Rua won’t be able to tell an American jury how he was the “principal architect” of her success, allegedly setting up key endorsement and licensing deals and orchestrating her philanthropic activities, before she signed with Roc Nation, the management company owned by Jay-Z.
In reaction to the lawsuit, Shakira’s lawyers at Latham & Watkins told the judge “California had nothing to do with the case” and played down his contributions to her career as relatively insignificant. The singer also pointed to a 2006 prenup to support the idea that Columbia law applied.
The plaintiff, repped by Arnold Peter, conversely pointed to the number of potential entertainment industry witnesses who either has familiarity with their alleged business partnership or were savvy enough to discuss her business.
In the end, Shakira’s cross-border success seems to have outweighed any local interest in the subject matter in dispute. The judge believes convenience tips in favor of the countries south of the border.
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