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Cardi B Hit With $10 Million Lawsuit by Ex-Manager

Man who takes responsibility for rapper’s success says she breached her contract and defamed him

A man who says he’s responsible for the success of Cardi B has filed a lawsuit against the “Invasion of Privacy” rapper, accusing her of breaching her contract with him and defaming him, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.

In the suit, filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, Klenord Raphael, who also goes by the name “Shaft,” says he got the shaft from Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, despite making her the star she is today.

“Cardi B has not only declared the agreements [between her and Shaft’s companies] to be ‘void and unenforceable,’ but she has also repeatedly defamed Shaft, falsely communicating to her fiancé Kiara Kendrell Cephus p/k/a Offset, members of her entourage, and the public that ‘Shaft is robbing me,'” the suit reads.

“Plaintiffs have never robbed or otherwise committed any improper act against Cardi B,” the suit adds. “Shaft and the companies through which he conducts business, WorldStar and KSR, have always observed and fulfilled their duties to her.”

The suit also cites a March 2018 Instagram Live video, in which, the suit says, Cardi B said, “There’s a lot of people that I had to cutoff, a lot of friends, a lot of management, a lot of people that I had to cutoff because … one thing I notice … people don’t give a f— about you.” The post was “reasonably understood by members of the public to mean that Shaft and his businesses were stealing from her and otherwise not serving her best interests,” the complaint alleges.

TheWrap has reached out to a spokesperson for Cardi B for comment on the suit. In a statement to TheWrap, a spokesperson for Shaft said, “Since discovering Cardi B in 2015, Shaft has played an integral role in developing her music career and public image. While he is proud of their successful collaborations as she evolved from Instagram influencer to music megastar, Shaft is disappointed by her actions to freeze him out of her career, which are detailed in the complaint. Shaft is confident that his lawsuit will validate his conduct and substantiate his legal claims.”

“Shaft conceived, arranged and orchestrated Cardi B’s rise to become the biggest music sensation on the planet. Owing to his vision and drive, Cardi B can now bring her talents to the world and obtain a level of success few artists ever achieve,” the suit reads, adding that, before she entered her “life-changing business relationship” with Shaft in 2015, Cardi B “was an inexperienced and struggling young woman from Bronx, New York.”

Alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment and defamation, the suit seeks damages “in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $10 million.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.