The legal battle between Chance The Rapper and his former manager Patrick Corcoran has ramped up a gear, with the former filing a countersuit accusing the latter of “shocking violations of his position of trust” that are “only now coming to light”.
Corcoran sued the rapper, real name Chancelor Bennett, late last year seeking unpaid commissions and other monies he claimed he was owed.
The lawsuit described in some detail Corcoran’s long-term partnership with Bennett, claiming that the rapper had ultimately started ignoring his advice resulting in a lacklustre album and cancelled tour. Bennett then blamed Corcoran for the downturn his career had taken and sacked his manager last April. In his lawsuit, Corcoran sought to enforce his oral agreement with Bennett, reckoning he was owed more than $3 million.
Bennett quickly hit back, insisting his ex-manager had been paid everything he was owed, and that Corcoran’s lawsuit was full of “self-serving and fabricated allegations”. A more formal legal response has now been made, with Bennett seeking to have Corcoran’s lawsuit dismissed, while also pursuing his own litigation based on claims his former manager breached his contract and fiduciary duty.
“After being handed a truly unique opportunity to make it big in the music business”, Bennett’s lawsuit says, “Mr Corcoran repeatedly breached his fiduciary responsibilities to Mr Bennett by trading on Mr Bennett’s good name for his own benefit, diverting business opportunities to his separate companies, and demanding and accepting kickbacks as the ‘price’ of doing business with Mr Bennett”.
This alleged bad conduct on Corcoran’s part is only now becoming apparent, Bennett claims. “Mr Bennett put his trust and confidence in Mr Corcoran and expected him to uphold his duties of honesty, loyalty, and fidelity”, the lawsuit states. “Instead, as Mr Bennett has since learned, Mr Corcoran exploited his position of trust by repeatedly trading on Mr Bennett’s name for his personal benefit and surreptitiously converting opportunities intended for Mr Bennett to the benefit of Mr Corcoran or his separate businesses”.
One example of that, the lawsuit says, was when Live Nation approached Corcoran about working with Bennett. Instead of using a meeting with the live music giant to discuss a possible partnership involving the rapper, it’s alleged, Corcoran instead pitched a separate wine company he was involved in.
“The clear message that Mr Corcoran conveyed and intended to convey was that Live Nation would have a much better chance of getting to promote a tour involving Mr Bennett if it agreed to buy wine from Mr Corcoran”, the lawsuit goes on.
Live Nation did indeed agree to buy wine from Corcoran’s business, it is alleged, but “Mr Corcoran never disclosed his outreach to Live Nation or his subsequent deal with Live Nation to Mr Bennett, who learned about this incident much later”.
The lawsuit also provides Bennett’s version of the events that led to his parting company with Corcoran last year. “With the termination of his management services for Mr Bennett, Mr Corcoran faced a return to obscurity, having lost the ability to use Mr Bennett’s good name to open doors for him”, it claims. “In a desperate attempt to retain some relevance in the industry, Mr Corcoran filed a lawsuit against Mr Bennett, asserting a variety of legally and factually baseless claims”.
Later setting out various specific grievances regarding Corcoran’s management of Bennett’s career and business, the lawsuit concludes that – rather than the manager being owed money for unpaid fees and expenses – he should be compensating the rapper for damage caused by his bad conduct, with a least a million dollars in damages being justified.
As is always the way, this dispute will likely be settled behind the scenes. But Bennett’s legal filing is as scathing as Corcoran’s original litigation, meaning if this legal battle does get to court, it could be very interesting indeed.