December 4, 2012
Colombian pop superstar Shakira is being sued for $100 million by ex-boyfriend Antonio de la Rua, who claims he acted as her business manager for years.
He claims he was the "principal architect" of a business plan that turned her into an icon and seeks to "recover his share of past and future partnership profits."
In a separate case, Shakira is suing de la Rua for misappropriation of funds.
Her legal case, filed in the Bahamas in October, accuses him of paying himself an unauthorized bonus and using funds from their business for personal expenses.
Antonio de la Rua denies the allegations. His legal papers, however, provide a rare insight into the intricacies of sustaining a global pop career such as Shakira's.
He explains how the couple met in 2000, shortly after he had managed his father Fernando's successful campaign to become president of Argentina.
As they became romantically involved, he frequently joined Shakira on her first world tour - The Tour Of The Mongoose - where she came to a surprise revelation.
He describes how the now-35-year-old and pregnant Shakira (the father is Gerard Pique) was "shocked" to learn the tour had "actually lost money."
The news caused the singer "extreme emotional distress and interfered with her ability to sleep and perform." She sacked her manager, and asked Antonio de la Rua to step in.
They agreed he would be entitled to a share of the profits from her career "in exchange for the contribution of his business and marketing skills, knowledge and expertise".
His court papers acknowledge that the partnership, which began in 2004, was based only on an "oral agreement." However, he claims he's entitled to the money because:
He brokered a $300 million deal for her with concert promoters Live Nation
He signed a "lucrative" deal for a range of perfumes featuring the star
He was instrumental in persuading a reluctant Shakira to record the song "Hips Don't Lie" in order to reverse flagging sales of her Oral Fixation Vol. 2 album.
He brokered a deal for Shakira to record the World Cup song "Waka Waka," which ensured a profitable world tour and "saved the relationship" with Live Nation.
Time will tell who will prevail in court. Viable as some of his claims may be, without a contract he may be SOL. Perhaps he's angling for a nice lump sum payout.
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