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.
Rowe is better known for his work as a tour promoter and 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.
"I agreed to let Leonard Rowe promote my tour because he convinced me he was an underdog who deserved a chance to prove himself," said Kelly in a statement after the verdict. "Like the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished."
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.
When CelebrityAccess contacted Frank Dileo's Dileo Entertainment Group, who'd been managing Jackson to verify the change in representation, they seemed surprised by the turn of events and according to a spokesman for the company, Frank Dileo still manages Mr. Jackson.
A subsequent press release by Dileo Entertainment Group asserts that Rowe's claims are false, that Dileo and AEG's Randy Phillips will be issuing a public statement to this effect in "the coming week" and suggested that legal action against Mr. Rowe over the matter may be in the offing.
Mr. Rowe did not respond to repeated requests for comment. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers