By Eriq Gardner
R&B singer Chris Brown has trouble with relationships.
Earlier in the year, Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna. Now, on the brink of releasing his comeback album, "Graffiti," Brown's former talent agency has taken aim at some of his closest business partners.
Boy Blue has filed a lawsuit against Sony Music, Zomba Recordings, Hit Mission Music Production and Lamont Flemming for tortiously interfering with its business relationship with Brown.
According to the complaint
, Brown's mother, Joyce Hawkins, gave Boy Blue exclusive artist representation of her then-underage singer in 2002. The management agreement was for a one-year period with automatic yearly renewals for four additional years unless Boy Blue provided written notice that it wanted out. Boy Blue says that Brown agreed to fork over 25% of his gross income, although the talent agency admits it "inadvertently omitted" the percentage term from its executed copy.
In September 2002, Boy Blue says it became harder and harder to reach Brown. When the agency finally got in contact, Brown said he was unsure whether he wanted to continue pursuing a career as a recording artist. Boy Blue responded he was still bound by his agreement.
Over the next few years, Brown made deals without the involvement of Boy Blue, including with Hit Mission to produce and with Sony's Zomba Recordings to release albums. In 2004, Brown sent notice to Boy Blue disaffirming the management agreement.
Boy Blue claims the agreement was still in full force and now seeks damages of at least $475,000.