New York, N.Y. – JAY-Z was sued by fragrance brand Parlux for breach of contract in 2016, with the trial beginning in New York this week. But Donald Loftus, the former CEO of the company, has attempted to avoid testifying in person, citing health problems and fear of COVID-19. Loftus submitted two doctor’s letters requesting to answer questions via a video link.
According to Rolling Stone, Hov took things into his own hands and got his legal team to hire an ex-police officer to spy on Donald Loftus’ daily whereabouts. In an affidavit filed on Friday (October 15), the former NYPD sergeant presented photos of Loftus walking in Manhattan without a mask, boarding MTA buses, shopping in an Upper East Side grocery store and standing in a crowd at the Pulaski Day Parade.
In addition, the detective said Loftus “frequently” dined at a neighborhood restaurant, with an employee even claiming he wasn’t opposed to eating indoors.
“Despite Mr. Loftus and plaintiffs’ counsel’s misrepresentations otherwise, the pandemic has not proven exceptional for Mr. Loftus, who is living his life as if it is 2019,” JAY-Z’s lead lawyer Alex Spiro wrote in his filing. “COVID-19 has not stopped Mr. Loftus from participating in any activities similar to, or more risky than, attending an in-person trial around other socially-distanced, masked individuals.”
JAY-Z is expected to be called as a witness in the trial. Parlux claims he went back on an agreement to promote his Gold Jay Z cologne, despite being paid $2 million in royalties through the 2012 deal.
Donald Loftus said in a 2017 sworn statement that JAY-Z “never once personally appeared” to promote the fragrance and didn’t return a prototype Gold Jay Z bottle with an 18-carat gold exterior worth more than $20,000. The company claims total losses from the failed venture were over $18 million.
Hov countersued claiming Parlux breached obligations by failing to provide accounting reports, business plans, adequate promotional resources and royalty payments. According to the New York Post, JAY-Z claims he’s owed $2.7 million from the company.