A new lawsuit in New York challenges Prince’s classic lyric in Purple Rain that “Baby I could never steal you from another.”
According to the lawsuit, Prince recently recorded, produced, and released a new album for free from his protégé, former Voice contestant Judith Hill. But controversy arrived faster than a little red corvette. A few days after the album’s release, a producer who previously signed Hill to Sony’s label sued Prince for tortious interference. The lawsuit alleges that Hill was warned not to record with Prince multiple times, but did it anyway. Notably, Hill has filed her own lawsuit and is asking the court to declare that she has no contractual obligations to the producer.
At this point it’s unclear whether Prince sought legal advice before recording and releasing Hill’s album. If he did, he would arguably be able to raise advice-of-counsel as a defense.
Takeaway: The Prince litigation is a sign o’ the times. Hiring an employee – or a protégé in Prince’s case – who is subject to contractual restrictions, such as a non-compete agreement, always carries some risk. If u don’t want 2 get sued, it’s best to do your due diligence and consult with legal counsel prior to making the hire.