Well, this should make Father’s Day a bit awkward for the Fenty family this year.
“Umbrella” singer Rihanna — full name: Robyn Rihanna Fenty — filed a lawsuit against her father, Ronald Fenty, accused him of invasion of privacy — false light publicity, false advertising and other counts.
According to the suit, the elder Fenty and his business partner, Moses Joktan Perkins, have fraudulently misrepresented that their company, Fenty Entertainment, is affiliated with the singer in order to solicit millions of dollars from third parties.
“Seeking to trade on her hard-earned success and the recognition and goodwill associated with her last name and her Fenty brand of products, her father, Ronald Fenty (‘Mr. Fenty’), and his business partner, Moses Joktan Perkins (‘Mr. Perkins’), have egregiously and fraudulently misrepresented to third parties and the public that their company, Fenty Entertainment, LLC (the ‘Company’), is affiliated with Rihanna, and has the authority to act on her behalf. Mr. Fenty and Mr. Perkins have used these lies in a fraudulent effort to solicit millions of dollars from unsuspecting third parties in exchange for the false promise that they were authorized to act on Rihanna’s behalf, and/or that Rihanna would perform at various locations throughout the world,” the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, reads.
“Although Mr. Fenty is Rihanna’s father, he does not have, and never has had, authority to act on Rihanna’s behalf, nor has he ever been authorized to use her name, intellectual property or publicity rights. Similarly, neither Mr. Perkins nor the Company has any affiliation whatsoever with Rihanna, and absolutely no authority to act on Rihanna’s behalf or to use her name, intellectual property or publicity rights,” the complaint continues.
According to the suit, Fenty and Perkins formed the company in 2017, and Fenty Entertainment presents itself as a “full-fledged production and talent development company that utilizes today’s most cutting-edge digital technologies to create customized user experiences between talent and the fans.” The suit adds that a press release previously stated, falsely, that “Ronald Fenty, father of superstar recording artist Rihanna, today announced the launch of Fenty Entertainment with his daughter Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty.”
The suit says that the defendants have repeatedly been told “to stop making these misrepresentations, and to cease and desist all activity and efforts to exploit Rihanna’s name and the goodwill associated with the Fenty brand.”
According to the suit, in one instance, SBS Entertainment, relying on the alleged misrepresentation, offered the defendants an exclusive deal for Rihanna to perform a string of shows in Latin America for $15 million, plus two 15-minute sets elsewhere for $400,000.
“In order to further this fraudulent business transaction, Defendants falsely represented to SBS Entertainment that Rihanna had discussed the deal with Mr. Perkins and Mr. Fenty, ‘loved the idea,’ and ‘approved’ further discussions between the Company and SBS Entertainment to get the deal signed off,” the suit reads.
TheWrap has reached out to Fenty Entertainment for comment on the suit, which is asking that the defendants “be permanently enjoined from continuing the wrongful conduct alleged herein,” and is seeking unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.