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News: Ashanti Settles Contract Case

Ashanti Settles Contract Case
One day after testifying in a Manhattan court against a former producer in a contract dispute, singer Ashanti and the plaintiff have settled the case to the satisfaction of both sides.

"I'm very pleased the plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed the case against us," Ashanti said outside court, where she had been scheduled to continue her testimony. "The lawsuits were time-consuming. I'd rather be in the studio writing."

Genard Parker, who helped produce tracks for Ashanti in 1996, was seeking $2.3 million on claims that he was owed a percentage of her first three albums in exchange for releasing her from their contract.

Neither party discussed financial terms of the settlement outside of court Tuesday. But Ashanti's lawyer, Alan Kaminsky, called the decision by both sides to drop all litigation "an excellent result."

Parker, meanwhile, told reporters that he was "happy it's over." The producer said he helped Ashanti record demo tapes nine years ago, when she was 16. Kaminsky told the jury that Parker "couldn't deliver for her" and that he eventually signed a release that allowed her to pursue other record companies.

Although Ashanti signed a deal that allowed Parker to receive a sales percentage of her first three records with her next record company, the company ultimately dropped her, so she owed Parker nothing from that arrangement, Kaminsky said.

Last year, another jury concluded that Ashanti broke a contract with Parker and owed him $630,000. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected all but $50,000 of the award on the grounds that the jurors did not have adequate facts to determine damages so they were left to speculate. The judge's decision led to this latest lawsuit seeking $2.3 million.
Ashanti Settles Lawsuit With Former Producer

Ashanti has settled a lawsuit with her first producer, Genard Parker, out of court on Tuesday (September 19), dropping all litigation in their contract dispute, after only a day in court.

According to Parker, he helped the singer record demo tapes when she was only 16. He filed suit, seeking $2.3 million, but that was after a judge rejected a judgment from last year where he won a $630,000 verdict.

Although the case was dismissed, lawyers from both sides were tight-lipped about any kind of money exchange in the settlement, offering only that both parties are happy the battle is over.

"I'm very pleased the plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed the case against us," Ashanti told reporters outside the court. "I'd rather be in the studio writing."

On Monday (September 18), Ashanti's lawyer, Alan Kaminsky, told the jury that his client did not owe Parker anything because he had no role in helping her career after he opted to release her from contract so she could sign with another company.

Although Parker's terms were to receive compensation from the company for her first three albums, Ashanti was eventually dropped and never released any music with them.

She then met Irv Gotti and inked a deal with Murder Inc. for her first three records that sold 6 million copies.

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