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Nicole Scherzinger agreed to a reunion of The Pussycat Dolls, the big girl group musical act of the early 2000s. Then, COVID-19 hit. Now, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, she’s threatening to walk away from the big tour unless she’s given a majority share and complete creative control in relaunching the group.
The complaint (read here) comes from Robin Antin, who founded The Pussycat Dolls and then brought this dance/singing troupe into the mainstream upon a tip from Jimmy Iovine. The suit will determine the group’s future as its target is Scherzinger, undoubtedly the biggest breakout from The Pussycat Dolls and a prominent face on various music-themed competition shows (X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Masked Singer). She’s also branched into TV and film work (Moana, Dirty Dancing).
Antin, represented by notable attorney Richard Busch, alleges that near the end of 2019 that she and Scherzinger came to a deal for a reunion tour and new Pussycat Dolls business venture. Scherzinger would get 49 percent, under a short-form agreement she’s characterizing as a Memorandum of Understanding.
Scherzinger did promote the tour, it’s acknowledged in the complaint, but then the pandemic halted music touring worldwide.
She “now refuses to participate in the tour,” states the complaint, adding she “demanded to renegotiate the terms of the MOU.”
According to the complaint, Scherzinger now wants to be a 75 percent owner with final decision-making authority, and she’s refusing to participate in the reunion tour unless she gets what she wants. And now because tour dates can’t be confirmed, Live Nation is said to be demanding $600,000 that it put up.
Because of COVID, tours are only slowly ramping up at this point, and this suit comes with a not extremely common claim of anticipatory breach of contract (along with other contract claims and one for fiduciary duty).
Howard King, attorney for Scherzinger, responded: “Robin’s ludicrous and false claims are a desperate attempt to divert blame for her own failures by trying to impose obligations on Nicole that simply do not exist. Robin will fail in her efforts to trade on Nicole’s hard-earned success to pull herself out of a deep financial hole she has created by her own poor business and professional decisions. Prior to Nicole’s involvement, trading on Nicole’s name without her consent, Robin borrowed (and spent) $600k from Live Nation that she won’t or can’t repay. Nicole has invested her own funds in excess of $150,000 in support of a potential PCD reunion that has now been made impossible by Robin’s actions (including the public release of the group members’ confidential financial information). Nicole loves and respects the PCD fans and hopes to one day be back on stage performing the group’s amazing hits for them. Sadly, this will not happen under these circumstances.”
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