Sunday 11 December 2016

Pop star pursued for €2.2m after ignoring court deal

Tim Healy and Ken Sweeney

Published 27/03/2010 | 05:00

POP star Prince will have to cough up €2.2m over his cancelled gig in Croke Park after he failed to honour his side of a legal settlement reached last month.

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MCD vowed last night to pursue the singer for the sum, saying it was "very disappointed" about the star's lack of action.

The concert promoters obtained a €2.2m judgment order against Prince after the Commercial Court heard that his lawyers were not opposing it. The case was due before the court yesterday for implementation of the settlement, which was agreed on confidential terms after a four-day hearing.

However, Maurice Collins, for MCD, said it was now necessary to make an order for judgment for €2.2m, inclusive of costs.

Mr Collins also said his client might, if necessary, take steps to enforce the judgment via a European Enforcement Order.

MCD had brought its action against Prince Rogers Nelson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and William Morris Entertainment Endeavour (WMEE), of Beverly Hills, California, over the cancellation of the concert set for Croke Park on June 16, 2008.

Yesterday's judgment order is only against Prince and the action against WMEE was struck out.

MCD had claimed it only learned of the cancellation less than two weeks before the concert was due to take place. Tens of thousands of fans demanded refunds as a result.

The pop star had claimed WMEE had no authority to bind him to the gig. WMEE denied this and argued they acted as agents for the artist under an agreement of August 2005 and had authority to negotiate on his behalf in booking gigs.

The agency claimed the decision to cancel the Dublin event was outside of its control and denied negligence, breach of duty and misrepresentation. WMEE said it had believed the Dublin gig was confirmed by Prince in late February.

Prince did not appear before the hearing to give evidence but he provided a witness statement in which he said he had "considered" performing several dates as part of a European tour.

Negotiation

He said his assistant, through whom all correspondence was made, and the agency, "would have known" he was "confirming" he found the Dublin concert "acceptable" as part of a proposed European tour which "was still in the negotiation phase". The court heard that at the end of 2007 there were offers of $22m (€16m) for seven performances across Europe but the tour did not go ahead.

The agency said it was only made aware Prince would not be performing the Dublin concert in early June 2008, when two of its representatives held a meeting with the artist.

The agency said no "specific" reason was given why Prince wished to cancel but he spoke about there being no other European dates. Prince, the court was told, became "very agitated" and said it was the agency's "problem" as they had got him "into this mess".

When told MCD's Denis Desmond was anxious about the gig, Prince told the agents "tell the cat to chill", the court heard.

Irish Independent

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