Rita Ora has filed a lawsuit against Jay-Z’s record label, Roc Nation. The “Body On Me” singer claims since the company expanded into sports and other interests, it’s not taking care of its own.
“When Rita Ora signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” the filing reads. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”
— People magazine (@people) December 19, 2015
The documents state Rita Ora signed with Roc Nation when she was just 18 years old–in 2008. Now that seven years have passed, she is supposedly eligible to invoke California’s “seven-year rule,” otherwise known as California Labor Code Section 2855. The rule was created back in 1944, when actress Olivia De Haviland took issue with her contract with Warner Bros. The studio was refusing to let her go or to allow her to sign on for roles besides those they chose for her.
So what is Rita Ora’s actual complaint? She feels she is “self-funding her promotional television appearances, recording costs and video projects” since being “orphaned” by Roc Nation after it switched distribution partners from Sony to Universal–especially since she was left behind at Sony.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) December 18, 2015
“Between Sony’s limited economic return from its orphaned relationship with Roc Nation and Sony’s indirect relationship with Rita, Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction,” the complaint reads.
If Rita Ora wins her case, she will set an important example for the legal aspects of the entertainment industry. If she doesn’t, she is locked into Jay-Z’s record label until the end of 2019.