MCD to pursue singer Prince over €2.2m judgment

 

MCD OWNER Denis Desmond said he will pursue a €2.2 million judgment against pop superstar Prince in the United States even if it takes another year.

Mr Desmond said he was “disappointed but not surprised” that Prince had failed to honour an out of court settlement reached between the star and MCD last month over the cancellation of a concert at Croke Park in June 2008.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly entered judgment in that amount yesterday on the application of Maurice Collins SC, for MCD and on consent of Paul Sreenan SC, for Prince.

The case against Prince’s agent the William Morris Entertainment Endeavour (WMEE), which acted for him in his dealings with MCD, was struck out with no order made.

The issue had been put in for mention to see if the terms of the settlement agreed on February 26th had been implemented. “Clearly that is not the case,” the judge said.

Mr Collins said it was necessary to make an order for judgment for €2.2 million, inclusive of costs.

The €2.2 million judgment involves €1.7 million in damages for the cancellation of the concert which was scheduled to take place on June 16th, 2008, and legal costs for the four day action at the Commercial Court.

Mr Collins also indicated his side may, if necessary, take steps to enforce the judgment via a European Enforcement Order.

Mr Justice Kelly gave him liberty to apply for whatever relief MCD deemed appropriate by way of enforcement orders.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Desmond said it was his plan to enforce the order in the United States against Prince and to include interest and penalties.

“It is a matter of time. At the end of the day we have the law on our side. Now it is just a question of going after him and getting the money,” he said.

“The man, as we heard in the court case, is able to turn down $20 million in work so he’s not short of a few bob. We just have to be patient. We’ve waited two years and we are happy to wait another year.”

Mr Desmond added that nothing had happened since Prince agreed to the out-of-court settlement last month.

“His own side says he is just not communicating. It is sad that an artist of the calibre of Prince has found himself in this position. He needs to surround himself with good advisers. He has been very badly advised,” he said.

Mr Desmond brought the action against Prince after the enigmatic star cancelled his concert at Croke Park just 13 days before it was due to take place. More than 57,000 tickets had been sold for the event.

Though MCD and WMEE believed that Prince had “confirmed” in early February of 2008 through his assistant Ruth Arzate that the Croke Park concert would go ahead, they began to doubt his resolve when he would not commit to other European dates.

The court heard, at the end of 2007, there were offers of $22 million for performances across Europe but the tour did not go ahead. Prince never explained why he cancelled the Dublin concert.