Entertainment

Timbaland, Swizz Beatz Sue Triller for $28M Via ‘Verzuz’ Deal – The Hollywood Reporter

A new one Verzuz battle is going on. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz on Tuesday night sued Triller for breach of contract, alleging they owe more than $28 million from aspiring TikTok rival.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz launched the series on Instagram shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in March 2020. It started as a remote contest and when restrictions were lifted, revolved around events. Live events are streamed in real time on social platforms as well as Apple Music. Throughout the series, dozens of artists were featured including Snoop Dogg, John Legend, Alicia Keys, RZA and Ludacris. A battle between ’90s icons Brandy and Monica filmed at Tyler Perry Studios has garnered more than 1.2 million concurrent viewers.

Triller in March 2021 announced they were acquiring Verzuz for an undisclosed sum in a settlement that made Timbaland and Swizz Beatz shareholders of parent company Triller Network.

Now it is clear that the sum is in the middle of eight numbers. It must be paid in installments: the first at the end, another immediately after, and two more on the first and second anniversaries of the agreement. Triller made the first two scheduled payments, but the company failed to make their settlement in January 2022, according to a complaint filed in LA County Superior Court by attorneys from Singh Singh & Trauben.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz signed a payment and settlement agreement with Triller in February. Under its terms, Triller must pay them $9 million each no later than March 17 (and sooner if the company reaches the minimum funding threshold). Then Triller will pay them $500,000 each on the first of the month for 10 months. That timeline would be accelerated if the company received $100 million in funding or if it closed its proposed merger with SeaChange International. An additional $120,000 was paid for the manufacturer’s legal fees.

According to the lawsuit, Triller again defaulted on the deal. It did not pay $18 million in March, nor made any monthly installments of $1 million. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz in April sent notices and requested payment, but Triller has yet to pay.

Notably, their settlement included a waiver of defense rights. The complaint cites the agreement: “If Triller breaches any payment obligation under this Agreement and fails to remedy it within five (5) days after receiving written notice of such breach, all unpaid amounts remaining under this Agreement shall be accelerated and deemed immediately due and payable, and in connection with any such breach, Triller hereby waives and waives in perpetuity. and rescind all claims and defenses of each nature, both lawful and equitable (‘Exempt and Defended Claim(s)’) except that, in fact, payment Timeliness was made by Triller. ”

It also states that “the prevailing party shall be entitled to its reasonable attorney’s fees.” Since Triller’s only defense allowed under the agreement was “timely payment,” it’s hard to imagine the duo wouldn’t prevail.

Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are seeking $28,095,000 in damages plus attorneys’ fees and expenses, as well as pre-judgment interest.

Triller, which has gained traction as a video-sharing app, has since received most of its investment from Ryan Kavanaugh’s Proxima Media and expanded into live events including a boxing tournament called Triller Fight Club.

Triller is no stranger to lawsuits, has been in dispute with TikTok and a podcasting duo, and faces a class-action lawsuit over biometric privacy that has since been dropped (among other things). So is Kavanaugh, whose bankruptcy Relativity Media is mired in lawsuits including a lawsuit from investors, a contract dispute against Netflix and a claim battle with an overturned executive. to pour.

Triller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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