In the latest news of an ongoing case, American rapper Flo Rida is refusing to pay the $400,000 in fines he owes for failing to appear at a 2011 music festival because the US chart botherer believes that the NSW court that has ordered him to pay the damages has no jurisdiction over him.
The 33-year-old Flo Rida, real name Tramar Dillard, was ordered by a NSW court to pay financial reimbursement to the organisers of the Fat As Butter music festival for not fulfilling his scheduled appearance in 2011, pulling out just two hours before he was due on stage, angering many of the 11,000-strong crowd – who’d payed upwards of $110 a ticket – with presenters fluffing, “Flo Rida has slept in and will not be able to make the concert.”
The rapper hadn’t actually partied too hard, but instead had reportedly chucked a “hissy fit”, according to promoters, after issues with accommodation. Promoters Mothership Music tried everything they could to transport the headliner from Sydney to the Newcastle event, apologising profusely over social media to the many disgruntled punters. Following the US star’s no-show, Mothership Music attempted to sue Flo Rida and his management, VIP Entertainment and Concepts, who attempted to dodge lawyers until they were eventually served with papers over Facebook.
Last September, Flo Rida and his management appealed against the $380,400 in damages and $37,745 in legal fees ordered to be paid to Mothership Music, but in the Court Of Appeal this week, as News Ltd reports, Flo Rida is claiming that the Australian court has no power over him. “My client is an American resident who lives and works in America. There was no evidence that he was in NSW on April 13th.” Nick Furlan, Flo Rida’s Lawyer
The rapper’s lawyer Nick Furlan says that the NSW District Court are not able to pass judgement on his defendant because he may not have been in the state when proceedings first began in April, 2012.
“My client is an American resident who lives and works in America,” Mr Furlan said. “There was no evidence that he was in NSW on April 13th.” A claim made despite the rapper appearing at the Melbourne leg of Supafest and at the Logies just days after missing his Fat As Butter commitment. Promoters were unable to reach the rapper or his management at the time, leading to the court allowing the claim to be served over Facebook, a first for a damages case in New South Wales.
“We are seeking costs that we expended, out-of-pocket expenses including accommodation, vehicles and damage to our client’s business and goodwill,” said Mothership Music attorney Stephanie Borg at the time. Mothership Music are also pursuing the rapper for the return of his performance fee, $55,000, which they paid well in advance.
No official explanation was given by Flo Rida or his team for the Fat As Butter no-show, but the promoters contend that he chucked a tantrum after a disagreement over accommodation in Sydney, something that Mothership Music had no control over. “We basically got a call at 3:00pm saying Flo Rida had thrown a hissy fit, was not happy about his Sydney accommodation and had stormed off,” explained promoter Brent Lean at the time.
The Court Of Appeal hearing continues