HER sues record label over ‘significantly limited’ deal

Musician HER (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for ModCloth)

* Singer-songwriter HIS is suing his record label to back out of his “significantly limiting” contract.

The Grammy Award-winning artist (born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson) filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 16. By Billboardshe alleges “that MBK Entertainment has controlled Wilson’s career decisions beyond the seven-year period permitted by California Labor Code Section 2855, also known as “seven-year status,” writes the output.

MBK is owned by manager Jeff Robinson, who signed HER in 2011 aged 14. All of his releases through MBK were distributed by Sony Music’s RCA Records.

“Wilson was not free to provide his recording services except as authorized or dictated by MBK,” the complaint, written by his attorney Allen Grodskybed.

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HER continues its label
Musician HER performs onstage during ModCloth Hosts by Grammy Winning Artist HER Special Performance on February 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for ModCloth)

Here’s more from the report:

According to Wilson’s complaint, the agreement with MBK violates California law by tying her as an “exclusive employee” of the company beyond the seven-year period permitted under Section 2855 of the Code of state work. Under the contract, Wilson is bound to an “‘initial term’ which ended no later than 15 months after May 19, 2011 or 12 months after the commercial release in the United States of Wilson’s debut album as part of the contract, and up to five other Option Periods of more than one year each,” as stated in the complaint.

The lawsuit further alleges that after Wilson hired Robinson as her manager, he fired the law firm that represented her in negotiating her recording contract with MBK, then used his own attorneys to represent her in subsequent deals, including publishing and touring deals. Although these attorneys took a 5% commission on each of these transactions, they “did not have a written fee agreement or waiver of conflict” signed by Wilson, but instead rendered these services “as a favor” to Robinson, who was also paid 20% commission for each of the offers.

“Wilson’s seven years have passed. MBK’s attempts to thwart this important and fundamental California public policy must not be tolerated,” the lawsuit filed in a California Superior Court reads. Digital Music News reports.

Wilson is seeking a court declaration that his agreement with MBK is “voidable and not enforceable against Plaintiff under California law to the extent that he purports to require Plaintiff’s services after May 18, 2019.”

She also seeks “restitution and reimbursement of funds according to the evidence”, costs of the lawsuit and “other additional relief” as determined by the court, according to the report.

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