Dash invested in six of Daniels’ movies, including The Woodsman starring Kevin Bacon, which he put $2m into. He is suing Daniels for “unpaid principal, interest and royalties,” according to the New York Post, and was left out of producer credits on the films.
“It’s very upsetting because there was a certain point where Lee was up-and-coming and Damon, as a music mogul and producer, really saw potential,” Dash’s lawyer Natraj Bhushan told the newspaper. “Lee went on to a very successful career and all Damon wants is what he’s rightfully entitled to.” Daniels has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
Dash is also suing Simone Sheffield, a talent manager who has also got producer credits on Daniels’ films. Dash accuses her of claiming he was heading to jail, and that she was an “obstacle” to his professional relationship with Daniels. It’s the latest legal saga for Dash, who was sued earlier this year by an ex-girlfriend, and mother of his child, for allegedly having her arrested on charges of harassment.
Dash found huge financial success via his partnership with Jay Z. The pair built up the Roc-A-Fella record label, releasing a string of hit Jay Z albums and nurturing the likes of Kanye West and Cam’ron; their spinoff clothing label, Rocawear, was also successful. But their relationship frayed, and once Def Jam bought out Roc-A-Fella and installed Jay Z as president, Dash became estranged from the company.
Despite earning over $10m from the buyout, he ran into money trouble. As well as having to make alimony payments to his ex-wife, he had other further court battles relating to his finances, one with a landlord claiming Dash owed him $162,000 in rent, and another from a clothing partner owed a loan of $237,000. He also owes nearly $3m in taxes to the IRS.
As well as some minor projects including an off-Broadway show with rapper Jim Jones and a clothing line with his ex-wife, recent years have seen him broker the Blakroc collaboration between blues rockers the Black Keys and a series of rappers, as well as appearing on Cam’ron’s recent comeback single Dipshits.
Daniels meanwhile is working on The Brian Banks Story, a true story of an American football player who was falsely accused of rape, convicted, and spent five years in jail before a recording surfaced of his accuser admitting she’d made up the story. “Lee is a film-maker who looks at challenging circumstances with honesty, compassion, and hope,” said the film’s producer Amy Baer. “He has an emotional connection to Brian’s story that I’m certain will result in a powerful and redemptive film.”
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