Saturday, June 17, 2017

Parlux Prez: Jay Z Won’t Give Back Our 18-carat, $20,000 Gold Prototype Bottle

Parlux President Donald Loftus

Parlux Fragrances is suing Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and his company Shawn Carter Enterprises for $18 million for allegedly failing to promote the Gold Jay Z fragrance, and for failing to cooperate in the development and launch of subsequent flanker products in the line. Carter denies the charges and claims that Parlux, in fact, owes him $2.7 million.

New York Commercial Division Judge Charles E. Ramos agreed to let the two sides in this dispute redact whatever they like from documents they file publicly with the court. While keeping proprietary information and certain contract terms under seal is routine in commercial litigation, my understanding is that New York state courts usually require justification for each item placed under seal; they don’t simply grant the parties carte blanche to hide whatever they like. But, hey, Jay Z is super-famous and rules are for the little people.

The upshot is that some documents filed with the court have been redacted in their entirety. Others have certain items blacked out, such as an internet URL. [You mean, like “”?—Ed.] [Yeah, exactly like that.]

Well, a few tasty tidbits do make it past the litigants’ cone of silence. One is the affidavit of Don Loftus filed by the Parlux attorneys on June 9, 2017. Loftus, the former head of Procter & Gamble’s prestige fragrance division, joined Parlux as its president in 2013, the year after the company made its ill-starred and mind-numbingly complex licensing deal with Jay Z and his various entities.

In his affidavit, Loftus recites the particulars of Jay Z’s alleged non-compliance with the terms of the deal. It’s all good, but our favorite part is item 12 (redaction courtesy of Parlux and/or Jay Z legal team):

Item 12 reads: “In addition, Parlux designed and created a prototype GOLD JAY-Z bottle with an 18-carat gold cap and poured gold exterior at a cost in excess of $20,000 to be used in a promotion. Not only did Jay-Z reject the design, but he kept the bottle and refuses to return it.”

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They
are different from you and me.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Rich Boy, 1926

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