Friday 20 April 2018

Rihanna ruined my business with false rumours, court told

Singer Rihanna denies the claims made by Dana Kavanagh
Singer Rihanna denies the claims made by Dana Kavanagh

Tim Healy

A woman claims her business was destroyed by a false email and rumours circulated by singer Rihanna about the woman's partner.

Dana Kavanagh (43), of Woodbank Drive, Valley Park, Finglas, Dublin, is suing the Barbados-born singer under the name Robyn Fenty, aka Rihanna, who has an address in New York, USA.

The case was before the court this week for mention, when it was adjourned to next month on consent between the parties to allow Ms Kavanagh provide an affidavit.

Ms Kavanagh is suing for damages and loss of earnings arising out of what she said was a false and malicious email, sent to her by Rihanna on July 11, 2013, containing untrue references to her partner Geoffrey Keating (39). Mr Keating worked for the singer during 2012 and 2013.

Rihanna denies the claims. A separate High Court defamation action over the email, brought by Mr Keating against Rihanna, was discontinued in 2015.

Ms Kavanagh said that as a result of Rihanna's claims a business she built up with Mr Keating, called Geoff Keating Media, had to cease trading.

She said it had a client list of more than 5,000, 95pc of whom were female, and it attracted other high-profile celebrities.

Struggling

By December 2013, she and her partner were struggling to keep the business running and the client list was decimated.

This was exclusively the result of malicious rumours emanating from the defendant, she said.

It is claimed their business began receiving calls from former clients, claiming stories were circulating about allegations which are the subject matter of the case being taken over the July 2013 email.

Ms Kavanagh said that Rihanna disseminated the information in that email to third parties, including Ms Kavanagh's sister-in-law, with intent to cause her damage.

She said despite years of toil in building up a successful business and brand, it was destroyed in a matter of days by the defendant, and she was receiving social welfare as she had lost her income.

Ms Kavanagh, who has been with Mr Keating for 14 years and with whom she has four children, said they had been planning a wedding around the time of the email, but it was cancelled as a result of events which gave rise to this case.

Her life has been a daily struggle, she said, and routine events, such as attending a school function or sports day, are upsetting and traumatic because of the accusation.

She sees no prospect of the situation improving in the future.

Ms Kavanagh said the defendant has failed, refused or neglected to retract the allegations or offer an apology.

Irish Independent

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