R&B star Ne-Yo has been ordered to court to face charges he cost promoters a fortune after pulling out of a New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009 party in Seattle, Washington. Bosses at Wet Entertainment LLC are seeking $500,000 (333,300 pound sterling) from Ne-Yo and a further $1 million (666,600 pound sterling) in damages from the star's booking agent, Mike Esterman, for not ensuring his client's appearance and refusing to refund the company's $95,000 (63,300 pound sterling) deposit.
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter allegedly backed out of the 2009 New Year's Eve performance at the last minute, and the promoters claim they were left with a stack of bills, unhappy guests and damaged reputations. Esterman told MTV News the lawsuit is without merit, but Judge Paul Garvey Goetze, an Associate Judge for the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County, where Esterman is based, disagreed and denied Ne-Yo's motion to dismiss the suit. Ne-Yo and his team will go to trial in Annapolis, Maryland at the end of July.
Wet Entertainment lawyer Jason Brino says, "This matter could have and should have been resolved a long time ago. Our client just wants to be made whole for the monies paid and preparations made for Ne-Yo's appearance."