Jay-Z’s raps used to play out like scenes from Goodfellas or Casino, but now, his money moves look a lot more like an episode of Succession than The Wire. Now, instead of menacing, mob-related hitmen, he’s hiring retired police officers to bring down business rivals, according to Rolling Stone. A breach of contract lawsuit against the rapper-turned-mogul apparently prompted him to turn to a private investigator to dig up dirt on the plaintiff, who had supposedly been avoiding a trial ever since Jay-Z countersued.
The lawsuit stems from 2016, when fragrance brand Parlux sued Jay, accusing him of failing to promote a branded cologne named after him, despite being paid $2 million in royalties since 2012. The former CEO of Parlux, Donald Loftus, said in a sworn statement that Jay “never once personally appeared” to promote the cologne, didn’t help develop “flankers,” product-line extensions to help sell the main product, and never returned a $20,000 prototype bottle after rejecting the design. Parlux said its overall losses amounted to $18 million.
However, Jay issued a lawsuit of his own, saying that Parlux never provided business plans, accounting reports, royalty payments, or promotional resources promised under its own deal. Loftus, who had requested to testify remotely, claimed health problems and fear of COVID-19 kept him from wanting to testify in person, but Jay-Z’s P.I. photographed him maskless hanging out all over New York, including at a crowded parade, in an indoor restaurant, and at the grocery store, at times taking buses to get around.
Naturally, undermining Loftus’ claims on this is probably key to establishing early on in the case that he’s an untrustworthy witness as the trial finally gets underway.