|MONDAY 31 OCTOBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Cardi B has hit back at efforts by YouTuber Latasha Kebe to appeal the $3.8 million defamation judgement made against her in a US court earlier this year. Legal reps for the rapper say that Kebe is raising issues in her appeal that should have been dealt with earlier, and that the evidence they presented at the original court hearing was more than sufficient to support the jury's verdict... [READ MORE]|
Cardi B hits back at YouTuber's appeal of $3.8 million defamation judgement
Kebe was sued by Cardi B - real name Belcalis Almanzar - over various claims that were made about the rapper in her YouTube videos. That included, legal papers said, that Almanzar "was a prostitute … was a user of cocaine … had and still has herpes … had and still has HPV … engaged in a debasing act with a beer bottle and … committed infidelity".
Almanzar denied all the allegations that Kebe had made, and told the court that false rumours spread by the YouTuber had had a negative impact on her mental health, resulting in the rapper becoming depressed and suicidal. Kebe, meanwhile, basically admitted in court that she didn't fact-check any of the allegations made about Almanzar on her YouTube channel, even when the rapper was actively denying those claims.
A jury found Kebe liable for defamation back in January, awarding the rapper nearly $4 million in damages. Kebe then began appeal proceedings in the Eleventh Circuit appeals court, arguing that it was never proven in court that she acted with actual malice when making her videos about Almanzar and that the exclusion of evidence about the rapper's character in court resulted in a "very lopsided" hearing.
Almanzar's team responded to Kebe's appeal last week. In the new legal filing, her lawyers again outline the various defamatory statements made in videos published by the YouTuber and her company.
And, they claim, while Kebe pretended to her audience that she was a credible journalist who fact-checked the allegations she and her guests made, in fact she simply published unverified gossip that she knew would drive traffic to her YouTube channel and therefore generate ad revenue.
Kebe and her company, they write, "seek to draw people to their [social media] accounts where they make money from advertising revenue and paid subscriptions. In serving this financially motivated purpose, they publish stories to build the audience for their content despite knowing that certain stories are false".
"Even in those instances when they do not have actual knowledge that a story is false", Almanzar's lawyers add, "they still assume that every story could be false given the types of rumours that they publish on their platform".
"In order to add credibility to the either known-false or assumed-false gossip that they spread", the legal filing continues, "they purposely mislead their audience by claiming that they report 'real news'. They also falsely boast that '98%' of the stories they publish are facts for which they have corroborating documents. In other words, they portray to the public that they are conducting legitimate journalism when they admittedly are not".
In terms of the specifics of Kebe's appeal, Almanzar's lawyers argue that the YouTuber is mainly raising issues now that should have been raised earlier, either during or shortly after January's hearing in the lower district court.
"The Kebe parties have waived each of the objections raised in their appeal brief because they did not raise them at the appropriate time, or at all, before the district court", the lawyers write. "They did not file a post-verdict motion to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. They did not object to the verdict form at any time".
"They did not seek to address any alleged inconsistency in the jury's verdict before the jury was discharged", they continue. "And they did not make the arguments they make now regarding the alleged relevancy of the evidence that the district court excluded. It is too late to raise these objections for the first time in this appeal".
And, of course, the Almanzar side are adamant that the jury got it right back in January. "The jury's verdict is entitled to considerable deference", the lawyers note.
"This court must disregard Kebe's testimony, which forms the entire basis of their defence to this action, because the jury was not required to believe any of it. Conversely, the unimpeached testimony and uncontradicted documentary evidence introduced by Almanzar must be credited and was more than sufficient to support the jury's findings".
And as for Kebe's claim that the lower court judge was wrong to exclude some evidence at the original hearing, they state: "The district court did not abuse its discretion to exclude the evidence because the documents were not relevant for the purposes advanced by the Kebe parties and, in any event, any probative value of these documents was substantially outweighed by other factors".
With all that in mind, they conclude, "the jury's verdict and the resulting judgment should be affirmed".
Kanye West sued by former business manager over unpaid fees
According to The Blast, a new lawsuit claims that West hired St John's firm TSJ to provide accounting, tax and general business management services. And by April this year, St John himself was being referred to by West's associates as the rapper's business manager and CFO of his Donda company.
Given the business management gig would require quite a lot of set-up work by St John and his team, the TSJ chief said that he needed West to sign-up to a two year contract. After some negotiations, an eighteen month deal was seemingly done, which included a $300,000 a month retainer fee.
However, not long after that deal had been agreed, and with St John already working on West's business affairs, the rapper called off his new partnership with TSJ.
According to the lawsuit, a meeting took placed where "Mr West became heated and aggressive. He screamed at Mr St John and made clear he no longer wanted to work with TSJ".
"When confronted by the eighteen month commitment that had just been made", the lawsuit adds, "Mr West stated words to the effect of 'the eighteen month term was bullshit' and 'you're insane for even thinking I would stick to it'".
West only paid TSJ's fees for three months, so the firm is suing for the other fifteen months of what should have been paid under its agreement with the rapper, which is a neat $4.5 million.
TSJ is not the first former business partner of West to sue over unpaid fees this year. In July, he was sued by LA-based production company Phantom Labs over allegedly unpaid fees due for work it had done on some of the rapper's events and shows.
And the same month the David Casavant Archive in New York went legal over allegedly unpaid fees relating to clothing items the rapper borrowed from the company. Plus he needs to return the clothes.
Though, of course, litigation is possibly not a top priority for West at the moment, given how many of his business partners have cut their ties with the rapper in the last couple of weeks as a result of his various controversial statements.
Wise Music's G Schirmer announces partnership with Vienna's Exilarte Center
Originally founded in 2006, Exilarte was able to extend its work in 2016 when it became a fully accredited research centre based on the campus of the University Of Music And Performing Arts in Vienna. Through the new partnership, Exilarte and G Schirmer will make available more than 400 previously unpublished compositions, including songs, film scores, chamber music and orchestral works.
Wise Music Group's foundation will also provide financial support to allow Exilarte to further restore, preserve and publish works by composers who were banned in the 1930s and 1940s.
Confirming the partnership, Robert Thompson, President of G Schirmer and Wise Music, said: "Exilarte has been a beacon of light since 2006 as the leading institution in locating, restoring, and making available musical works by composers lost during the Holocaust".
"Their work is vital, precious and honourable, ensuring that these composers who were silenced during World War II are not forgotten", he added, "their legacies restored, and their musical works brought to the public for the first time in performances and recordings".
"Through our partnership with Exilarte", he explained, "our goal is to continue and expand upon their mission of restoring, preserving, and disseminating the work of composers whose lives, work and artistry were tragically cut short".
The founder and Chair of the Exilarte Center, Dr Gerold Gruber, added: "The Nazis wanted a world in which the music of Jewish composers would have been banned and forgotten. It is therefore our obligation to counteract these policies by rescuing the music of exiled composers from oblivion. The cooperation between Exilarte and Schirmer/Wise is of incredible value for future generations".
Johnny Marr supports new funding scheme for young Salford-based musicians
The financial support provided by the Johnny Marr Award can be used to buy musical instruments or recording equipment, or to otherwise progress the music career of the recipient of the grant of up to £1000. The award will be presented each year for the next three years.
Peter Collins, Managing Trustee at the Salford Foundation Trust, says: "I am very grateful for the support from Johnny Marr - we can't let financial difficulties stand in the way of talent and this fund gives a young person in Salford for each of the next three years a chance to progress their talent".
Meanwhile, Marr himself adds: "It's a privilege to make a contribution to the creative development of young people. The Salford Foundation Trust is a great example of positive local action that makes a difference. It's an honour to be involved".
The funding scheme was formally announced earlier this month and Salford-based musicians aged 25 or under have until 15 Nov to put in an application via the Foundation's website.
Controversially titled Patti Smith track disappears from streaming services
Smith has defended her use of the n-word in the track over the years, insisting she was seeking to subvert the meaning of the racial slur.
In a 1990s interview with Rolling Stone, she said: "It was the idea of taking a word that was specific and hurtful to people and obliterating it, blowing that apart and reinventing it so it was more like a badge of courage. Like the kids did with the word punk. It was part of my group's attempt to break the boundaries, to obliterate labels".
It's not entirely clear when the track was removed, nor what prompted its removal. A live version of the song by Smith remains on Spotify as does Marilyn Manson's cover version, both of which - unlike the main version on the 'Easter' album - do not censor the n-word in the track's listing.
Jerry Lee Lewis dies
In a statement, his publicist Zach Farnum said: "Lewis, perhaps the last true, great icon of the birth of rock n roll, whose marriage of blues, gospel, country, honky tonk and raw, pounding stage performances so threatened a young Elvis Presley that it made him cry, has died".
"He was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and the rest, and watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock n roll", he went on.
The musician's death came just days after TMZ falsely reported that Lewis had died - his management saying at the time that the website had fallen for a hoax, telling reporters: "He's alive. TMZ reported erroneously off of a bullshit anonymous tip". TMZ then published a retraction, saying that it "regrets the error".
Born in Louisiana in 1935, Lewis began his career in 1952, and by 1956 was recording as both a solo artist and a session musician at Memphis, Tennessee's legendary Sun Studios. In 1957, he released his biggest hit, 'Great Balls Of Fire', which brought him international success.
His career was halted in 1958, however, when he arrived in the UK for tour dates with his new (and third, at the age of 22) wife, Myra Gale Brown, who was also his thirteen year old cousin. The tour was cancelled after three shows due to the subsequent public outcry and he returned to the US.
Although he continued to work - and was one of the inaugural inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986 - his big career revival came in 1989 with the release of the film 'Great Balls Of Fire'. Starring Dennis Quad as the musician, the movie followed his early life and career, and Lewis himself re-recorded all of the songs featured in the film.
Despite experiencing much ill health in his later years, Lewis continued to record and perform until recently.
Dead Kennedys drummer DH Peligro dies
A statement from the band explains: "He died from trauma to his head from an accidental fall. Arrangements are pending [and] will be announced in the coming days. Thank you for your thoughts and words of comfort".
Peligro joined The Dead Kennedys in 1981 and stayed with the band until their split in 1986, recording three albums along the way: 'Plastic Surgery Disasters', 'Frankenchrist' and 'Bedtime For Democracy".
He also joined the band's reunion in 2001, taking a short break in 2008 - saying that he needed a break from touring - before rejoining the following year and remaining a member of the line-up until his death.
As well as playing with the Dead Kennedys, he also played with numerous other bands, including a brief stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1988. Although only with the band for a few months, he co-wrote three songs that later appeared on the band's 'Mother's Milk' album, before being fired due to drug and alcohol issues.
In a statement on Instagram, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wrote: "My dear friend, my brother I miss you so much. I'm devastated today, a river of tears, but all my life I will treasure every second".
"The first time I saw you play with the DKs in 81 you blew my mind", he added. "The power, the soul, the recklessness. You are the truest rocker, and a crucial part of RHCP history. DHP in the place to be, you live forever in our hearts, you wild man, you bringer of joy, you giant hearted man".
Cliff Richard to get everyone in a festive mood with special BBC Christmas show
The hour-long show will be filmed at St John At Hackney Church with various guests joining in the fun. As well as that, Sara Cox will interview the musician at Abbey Road Studios.
Songs likely to be on the setlist include, of course, 'Mistletoe & Wine' and 'Saviour's Day' - both of them Christmas number ones - plus 'Millennium Prayer', which is more of a new year song, but whatever.
"I remember, as though it was yesterday, the three series - each containing thirteen shows - that I did for the BBC in the 70s", says Cliff, slightly irrelevantly. "I loved every moment of them! Now I'm really looking forward to the Christmas show that they have asked me to present, with the aid of some friends, this December 2022".
Does he have a Christmas wish though? Let's ask him. Cliff, do you have a Christmas wish? "My Christmas wish? That you will enjoy our show. Christmas greetings to you all".
Oh, that's nice. Kate Phillips, the BBC's Director Unscripted Content, adds: "We are enormously excited to welcome Sir Cliff Richard to the BBC this Christmas, with his inimitable voice and charm there's no one better to get everyone into the Christmas spirit".
That's right, no one. Not even Santa. But the real Christmas miracle is that this all seems to suggest that Cliff and the Beeb are friends again, after he sued the broadcaster back in 2016 over its news coverage of police arriving at his Berkshire home in 2014. He eventually won that case in 2018, following a very bitter court battle.
So that's something. Although it's not a very upbeat, Christmassy way to end this story though, is it? This is supposed to be heart warming. Unfortunately, the only other festive Cliff story I can find in our archive is about the news, in 2017, that the UK had decided that 'Mistletoe & Wine' was no longer its big Christmas anthem.
Though people like eating at Christmas, don't they? Eating so much that they feel like they might actually burst. That's not how Cliff will be preparing for his Christmas show though. So let's all finish this little story by revisiting Cliff's insightful explanation of his anti-burp diet, which I think I've now made sufficiently festive.
Oh, this special Christmas show is going to be on BBC Two, by the way. The actual transmission date is yet to be announced.