The conflict between Jay-Z and Bacardi over the D’USSE partnership is returning to arbitration after a New York judge declined to stop the hearing before a panel, which HOV has blasted for potential racist members.
Justice Andrea Masley declined the request from JAY-Z’s SCLiquor LLC to pause the arbitration temporarily. The company requested a halt on the arbitrators from hearing the claim that Hov did not uphold his end of the partnership.
JAY-Z alleged mismanagement of the D’USSE brand, and he is now seeking Bacardi forks over their 50% stake or buying him out of his. Masley would not acknowledge allegations that one arbitrator has a vendetta against the billionaire rapper and businessman, dismissing a messenger dropping off documents while giving a “blatantly racist remark.”
According to Bloomberg, JAY-Z and his legal team applied to the American Arbitration Association to disqualify one or both biased members of the panels. One of the members is independent arbitrator George Gluck, a white man, whose wife told a messenger, “we don’t accept packages from people like you,” while Gluck looked on and “did not seem bothered,” an affidavit reads. The messenger, identifying as a person of color, stated the incident was an “obvious” case of racism and filed a complaint with his employer.
An additional arbitrator, Daniel Schimmel, was noted for a potential grudge against JAY-Z, citing a past arbitration. Schimmel led international litigation and arbitration practice at Foley & Hoag LLP and was once challenged by HOV for the small number of Black arbitrators available. The challenge was deemed successful. For a previous case, Schimmel was known as an arbitrator but did not add his racial identity.