Vivica A. Fox might want to hold off on any trips to the strip club for the time being — because she’s probably going to need those crumpled dollar bills for her legal defense.
Fox has been slapped with a lawsuit by her former business partner, who accuses the actress of trash-talking their male stripper revue — and of trying to poach dancers from the show for her own troupe.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, accuses Fox of trying to destroy the reputation, business and emotional well-being of Jean-Claude LaMarre.
According to the suit, LaMarre conceived of and launched an all-black male revue called Black Magic Live, and Fox “employed a concerted effort of defamation, humiliation and misrepresentation to steal talent from it, and to confuse Black Magic Live’s audience, providing the public with false statements that Fox’s copycat dance venture was in fact the real ‘Black Magic Live’ dance revue.”
LaMarre’s lawsuit claims that Lifetime picked up a reality series based around the revue after Fox agreed to star in the series, acting as the owner of the business. Because the network could not clear the rights to the title “Black Magic,” the lawsuit contends, the show was rechristened “Vivica’s Black Magic.”
The series launched in January but, after that auspicious beginning, the lawsuit says, Fox derailed the momentum of the troupe during a radio interview with The Breakfast Club, when Fox “emphatically stated that gay men would not be welcome at Black Magic Live shows, a position widely reported in the media as homophobic. As a result of Fox’s comments, the LGBT community organized and called for a boycott of the television series and live shows.”
Shortly thereafter, the lawsuit alleges, Fox “secretly began planning to start her own male revue business, ‘Xplicit Minds.’ Fox recruited four of the five Black Magic Live dancers from the television series.”
The lawsuit also claims that Fox “began a campaign of defamation against LaMarre, telling the dancers that LaMarre didn’t care about them, was exploiting them, and taking advantage of them, and now that they were on the brink of celebrity, they no longer needed LaMarre. Fox also began advertising her Xplicit Minds shows as dancers ‘from Vivica’s Black Magic.'”
Alleging libel, slander and other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
TheWrap has reached out to Fox’s publicist for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.