LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Mexican-American music star Gerardo Ortiz has filed suit against his former label, DEL Records, which previously filed a lawsuit against Ortiz, accusing him of not fulfilling his contractual obligations.
Ortiz reportedly filed his lawsuit in California Superior Court for Los Angeles County April 12, accusing the label of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misappropriation of his likeness and other charges.
The record company claims in its lawsuit Ortiz failed to deliver his sixth album as required under contract. Ortiz is also allegedly obsessed with avoiding his legal obligations to pay taxes and is trying to get the record label to comply. According to DEL, Ortiz has asked the label several times to loan him money to pay his U.S. taxes but, at some point, Ortiz asked for cash payments so he wouldn’t have to declare income.
DEL says it refused to be an accomplice, which resulted in Ortiz refusing to do his sixth album. The record label alleges a “shakedown” but does not specify.
In response, Ortiz claims that under California Labor Code § 2855 (also known as the De Havilland Law), that he cannot be forced to work for the label for more than seven years regardless of any agreement signed, according to Billboard. He also alleges that DEL CEO Jose Angel “intentionally and explicitly” hid behind his companies to defraud Ortiz and other performers. He claims DEL engaged in deceitful accounting practices by withholding and concealing royalties and other payments.
Plus, because the label acted as his talent agent and manager, DEL had an inherent conflict of interest.
“They purported to serve as Ortiz’s talent agent, personal manager, record company/employer, and music publisher – all at the same time — but inherently cannot do so without serving two opposing masters: Ortiz and themselves,” the suit reads. “A talent agent procures the best live performance engagements for the artist and a personal manager procures the best possible recording contract and publishing deal for the artist. A talent agent and personal manager must therefore advocate for the artist against the record company and music publisher, which benefit from deals that are less favorable to the artist. As set forth herein, Defendants did not advocate for Ortiz. Instead, they took advantage of Ortiz.”
The musician also claims that, even though he told DEL in writing that he was terminating his contract in February, DEL continued to book him for shows, thereby misappropriating his likeness.