LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Becky G is suing water company Core for a percentage of its stock value equal to at least $105 million, claiming that her endorsement of the company has enriched her former label boss, Dr. Luke, but not her.
Core Nutrition LLC is in the process of being bought by beverage conglomerate Keurig Dr. Pepper for $525 million. For much of Becky G’s career, along with those of Katy Perry, Adam Levine, Diplo, Juicy J and others, Core has been a product appearing in the videos and social media of the performer, with Becky G and others considered celebrity influencers.
Product placement is not uncommon, with Selena Gomez with the gold standard, but Becky G, born Rebecca Gomez, has been dropping mention of Core since she signed with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records imprint with Sony Music at age 14. The lawsuit claims this was the beginning of the relationship with Core, with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald telling Gomez that he had co-founded a water company and suggested she be a representative and brand ambassador, according to Billboard.
The lawsuit claims Luke was and is Core’s co-founder and currently has a 40 percent stake in the company, and still controls a number of board seats through proxies, Billboard said, with the Core offices were located in his Los Angeles home and the use of celebrity product placement was to be the norm for advertisement. Gomez, now 21, claims she would drop Core endorsements into her interviews, attend Core events, and would have a Core bottle onstage during performances, with Core micromanaging the promotion – even giving orders about where to put the bottle onstage and for how long.
The lawsuit says that, as a minor at the time, Becky G thought she was a partner in the company.
Becky G claims she only pushed the brand because she feared that Dr. Luke would quash her career if she didn’t make him happy, with the lawsuit reading “Dr. Luke made it clear both directly and implicitly that [her] ability to have a music career would be tied to [her] continuing involvement in promoting Core.”
As a “singing billboard,” Gomez claims she should be paid the standard rate for a brand ambassador – 20 percent to 50 percent of the company – which would valuate her worth in the buyout at between $105 million and $262 million, according to TMZ.
Gottwald is not a defendant but could be added considering there are 50 “Does” listed in the lawsuit, Billboard added.