Early Tuesday morning, the world was hit with news about one of its favorite emcees, MC Lyte.
TMZ reported that one of Hip-Hop’s legends, Lyte might not be light as a rock, after hearing that one of her former employees Christopher Smith secured an attorney to address claims that she has not paid him for services rendered. Lyte (whose real name Lana Michelle Moorer) hired Smith to work on an upcoming project.
As alleged by the suit, Lyte’s entertainment management and production firm, Sunni Gyrl, procured him as an artist, animator and writer for this project. After 1,228 hours on the job, TMZreports that Smith believes that he was owed $38,375 for his artwork and time. However, something went wrong in the working relationship and Smith was terminated. He states via his lawyer and the documents filed that Lyte and her business partner gave him a check for $11,250 (about 1/3 of the fee owed), but that check was no good.
But there are always two sides to every story.
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Dr. Catrina Pullum, publicist for Sunni Gyrl, Inc. responded in an official statement. Please see below:
Christopher Smith was doing illustrations for a development project. Mr. Smith grew impatient during the development process and demanded payment of $6,000; a settlement agreement was reached to compensate Mr. Smith in exchange for a customary transfer of ownership of his work-product, which Mr. Smith signed.
Mr. Smith took half of the settlement payment, and then refused to turn over the original files that belong to Sunni Gyrl. A stop payment was placed on the check referenced in the lawsuit, after Mr. Smith failed to produce the files for the illustrations he claims he created. As a measure of good faith, Sunni Gyrl placed funds into its attorneys’ Client Trust Account with instructions to pay Mr. Smith upon receipt of the files he refuses to release.
Mr. Smith’s frivolous lawsuit is smoke-and-mirrors and a misguided attempt to publicly harass and intimidate MC Lyte and Sunni Gyrl. We will vigorously defend ourselves against this meritless lawsuit and file a counter claim for the return of our property.
Dr. Catrina Pullum
Sunni Gyrl, Inc.