7:37am PT by Eriq Gardner
Scott Storch Sued by Partners Bankrolling Music Producer's Comeback
Scott Storch, the high-flying music producer who burned through a $70 million fortune thanks to a cocaine addiction, is attempting to make a comeback, but now faces a lawsuit from two individuals who claim to have bankrolled him after he declared bankruptcy.
A decade ago, there were few producers as hot as Storch, who churned out hits for the likes of Beyonce, Chris Brown, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. He was named Songwriter of the Year at the 22nd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards and was a money-making machine with hits like Beyoncé's "Baby Boy," Fat Joe's "Lean Back" and 50 Cent's "Candy Shop." Meanwhile, his lavish lifestyle earned him media knocks as the "most loathsome man in music."
This past summer, the exotic cars, Gulfstream jets and loads of cocaine added up to a bankruptcy where Storch reported just $100 of cash on hand.
According to a new lawsuit filed in Florida federal court, there were still some individuals willing to help him out because of his talents.
Brad Cohen and Seth Cohen, who are wealthy through insurance and real estate holdings, say that upon the June bankruptcy, they saw that Storch "was once again ready to prove himself as a worthy record producer and use his deep connections in the music industry to make money for the three of them" so they allegedly entered into a deal with him and put up more than $1 million to fund his comeback.
Plus, states the lawsuit, Storch was provided with a weekly salary, a Rolls-Royce Ghost and a rental house in Parkland, Florida.
The lawsuit claims that Storch is backing away from the relationship and that the music producer "is back to his old ways and is not someone to trust with any monies."
"In fact, B. Cohen and S. Cohen had an agreement with Storch that B. Cohen and S. Cohen would take the Rolls-Royce Ghost away from Storch if he failed a drug test or it was otherwise discovered by B. Cohen and/or S. Cohen that Storch was using drugs," states the complaint. "In mid-December 2015, B. Cohen and S. Cohen discovered that Storch was again using drugs and demanded return of the vehicle. The vehicle is in S. Cohen name and S. Cohen did not want it to become an insurance liability. Upon information and belief, the demand that Storch return the vehicle partially led to B. Cohen and S. Cohen falling out of grace with Storch."
The parties appear to be in dispute over the validity of an operating agreement.
In late December, Storch's attorney Richard Wolfe sent the other side a letter that disavows the agreement over a lack of consideration, vagueness in terms, misrepresentations and other reasons. The letter also demands that the Cohens cease any exploitation of Storch's intellectual property.
The Cohens, represented by attorney Darren Heitner, insist that the agreement is perfectly valid and that Storch is breaching it by failing to perform production services. Further, the agreement is said to have a forfeiture provision where Storch has to surrender intellectual property. The lawsuit also targets a woman named Florence Mirsky, who allegedly has "engaged in a plan to pry Storch away" by advising the producer not to deal with the Cohens so that she could work with him instead.
The plaintiffs want damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and unjust enrichment. Most immediately, they are pushing for injunctive relief.
According to the complaint, "Based on Storch's (a) history of drug use, including evidence of recent abuse; (b) prior squandering of monies received from providing services in the music industry; (c) overt affiliation with Mirsky that has a real threat of diverting monies actually owed to CCS; and (d) sincere concern that CCS will otherwise not be able to collect monies to repay the significant contributions provided by B. Cohen and S. Cohen, an injunction and additional remedies in equity are necessary under the circumstances."
Wolfe is responding very strongly to the lawsuit.
He tells THR, "The lawsuit attaches documents that are forged. The lawsuit was filed in violation of federal law and we will be seeking a federal contempt order against the plaintiffs and their lawyers. The lawsuit is not serious and the only reason it was filed is to garnish publicity for the plaintiffs. Accordingly, it will be treated as nonsense."
Heitner retorts, "The lawsuit speaks for itself. We will push forward and seek relief for the wrongs that have been and continue to be committed by the Defendants."