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Cardi B’s Lawyer Fires Back at Rapper’s Ex-Manager Over $10 Million Lawsuit

“Invasion of Privacy” artist’s attorney says that manager’s claim “raises a huge question”

Cardi B’s attorney has responded to a $10 million lawsuit filed against her by her former manager Shaft, saying that Shaft’s claim “raises a huge question.”

In a statement obtained by TheWrap on Friday, the rapper’s litigation counsel, Paul LiCalsi, said, “After a full investigation of the facts, we will be responding to these allegations in detail in court. But even on its face, Shaft’s claim raises a huge question. For a hefty commission, a manager promises to carefully counsel and guide an artist in her or his career. In exchange, the law imposes a high fiduciary duty on the manager to always act in the artist’s best interest, not engage in conflicts of interest, not overreach, and not self-deal.”

The statement continued, “The glaring question here is: how does Shaft justify signing on as Cardi B’s manager through [Shaft’s company] WorldStar for a 20 percent commission, and then a year later sign her up through his other company for a deal that takes 50 percent of her music royalties from Atlantic Records, 50 percent of her music copyrights, and 25 percent of her other earnings? How does that comport with his fiduciary duty as her manager?”

“Invasion of Privacy” rapper Cardi B was sued Thursday by Shaft, a/k/a Klenord Raphael, who alleges that his former client “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.'”

“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.

A spokesperson for Shaft told TheWrap on Friday that there was no further on record comment available as of yet. However, in a statement provided to TheWrap on Thursday, Shaft’s spokesperson said that the manager is “confident that his lawsuit will validate his conduct and substantiate his legal claims.”

“Since discovering Cardi B in 2015, Shaft has played an integral role in developing her music career and public image,” Thursday’s statement read. “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.”