ATLANTA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Rowe Entertainment appears to have sparked a controversy after they issued a press release through Champion Management, announcing that Leonard Rowe was going to be assuming management duties for the prodigal King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Sources close to the matter have told CelebrityAccess that Rowe had joined forces with Michael Jackson's father Joseph Jackson to convince Michael to let them assume handling the artist's business affairs but that they had been rebuffed by the singer.
On the other side of the issue, Frank Dileo maintains that Rowe's press release was less than factual and that they manage Jackson.
A spokesman for Dileo told CelebrityAccess that they would release a statement along with AEG to address Rowe's claims next week and suggested that legal action may be in the offing.
However, AEG's Randy Phillips told CelebrityAccess that they have been working with Dr. Tohme Tohme in connection with all of Michael Jackson's dates. Mr. Phillips went on to say that they are currently contemplating no legal action against Rowe and that they aren't planning any press releases.
Rowe is known for his work as a tour promoter and has worked with a number of artists including Marvin Gaye, however his most recent spate of publicity stemmed from a string of lawsuits late last year over an R. Kelly tour that Rowe promoted.
According to court documents, Kelly accused Rowe of selling shares in Kelly's "Double Up" tour to investors without Kelly's permission, despite a contractual stipulation that barred such sales. The court agreed and awarded Kelly $3.4 million over the matter.
Kelly's suit wasn't the only litigation to stem from the tour and the investors who'd purchased the non-existent shares in the tour filed suit against Rowe as did singer Ne-Yo, who won a $700,000 judgment against Rowe after he was dropped from Kelly's tour after only two shows.
Rowe was also part of a group of African-American promoters who attempted in 1998 to sue a number of entertainment firms, including CAA, WMA, Clear Channel Entertainment, APA and the Howard Rose Agency for $700 million, alleging racial discrimination. Several of the firms opted to settle but the case was finally rejected by the court in 2005.
Mr. Rowe did not respond to repeated requests for comment. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers