Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, who most people will know simply as Colombian singer ‘Shakira’, has recently had a $100 million lawsuit filed against her in the Manhattan Supreme Court by her former manager and partner Antonio de la Rua. The businessman from Argentina had initially established a successful commercial arrangement with the singer which he claims was integral in her development as a global star. He also claims to have persuaded the star to record “Hips Don’t Lie’ after Shakira had originally hated this particular song.
Rua has a background in law, marketing and political campaigning and specifically claims that he was instrumental in securing Shakira’s 10 year deal with Live Nation, signed in 2008. Rua claims this particular deal to be worth approximately $300 million. The Argentine also wants credit for a sponsorship deal with Telefonica which is worth approximately $10 million and a similar deal with perfume company Puig, worth approximately $2 million per annum. He claims to have been the driving force in Shakira’s signing of such multi-million deals over a ten year period. In addition to his claims in relation to the hit “Hips Don’t Lie’, Rua claims he was pivotal in the “Waka Waka’ song becoming the official song of the 2010 World Cup.
Shakira and Rua first met in around 2000 at a concert. Interestingly, Rua’s father was running for the Presidency of Argentina at the time. The personal relationship ended in 2010 with the business relationship ending about a year later in around October 2011. The reason for the agreement ending was that according to Rua, the commercial arrangement was causing problems between Shakira and new partner, Barcelona defender and Spanish World Cup winner Gerard Pique. Shakira went on to sign with Roc Nation, the record label and music management company owned by Jay-Z.
Shakira denies that Rua was fundamental to her success and claims that she was already established on an international level before his involvement. According to the singer’s legal team, Rua was simply one of a large number of individuals who helped her because he was not in employment at the time they met. Rua had become unemployed following his self-exile from Argentina after his father’s resignation as President in 2001.
Shakira’s legal team also argues that there is nothing in writing to support Rua’s claims. They also argue that the case should not be heard in New York but rather in the Bahamas, where the couple previously lived together, or Colombia where Shakira is originally from and Rua currently resides.
Furthermore it is believed that Rua is seeking to rely upon what is known as a ‘Sunset Clause’ in his arrangements with Shakira. This means that if successful, he would be entitled to a share of income earned by Shakira for a period following the termination of their agreement. This highlights the importance of taking legal advice when entering into any contractual agreement. A contract lawyer can provide advice so that any provisions in a contract which might be costly, either now or in the future, are avoided.
Here at Farleys we have a dedicated team of media lawyers, who can advise on a full range of issues that affect media personalities, including contractual advice and commercial litigation. If you have been affected by any of the above issues then do not hesitate to contact us today to speak to one of our specialist solicitors who will advise you on the grounds for making a successful claim.