Bret Michaels files $5 million lawsuit against concert promoter

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Bret Michaels files $5 million lawsuit against concert promoter

Wed Aug 18, 2010 @ 10:13AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Bret-michaels-condition EXCLUSIVE: Two weeks ago, Bret Michaels showed up in Syracuse ready to perform a concert. He arrived at the venue only to find that the gig had been postponed without his knowledge. 

Now, the rocker and "Celebrity Apprentice" winner, fuming from the incident, has just filed a $5 million lawsuit against the concert promoter who allegedly claimed that the show didn't happen because Michaels was going to appear on TV instead.

Around the same time that Michaels was scheduled to perform in Syracuse, he appeared on NBC's "America's Got Talent." Can a modern-day rock star appear at two locations at the same time? Thanks to the wonders of technology, he can. The TV show was taped.

So on Monday, Michaels sued Michael Banks and Aloha Events for breaching his contract and exposing him to public contempt and ridicule with allegedly defamatory statements about his schedule.

According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Michaels was set to perform in Syracuse on Aug. 5. He says that although he was not paid his first 10% deposit nor a second 40% deposit, he arrived to perform as scheduled.

But the rocker showed up only to find no stage, no sound and no lights.

Banks allegedly started saying that a TV appearance by Michaels caused the concert's postponement. Fans started besieging a local news outlet with the story and demanding refunds. Reportedly, the New York State Attorney General's office was contacted.

Michaels now seems to think that the concert promoter backed out because of financial issues. He told New York's WSYR-TV, "You don't just go: 'Hey I don't feel like paying anybody.' I think with a guy like Mike, he bit off more than he could chew."

Michaels is now going to court to show he's not to blame. In the lawsuit, he asserts $75,000 in breach of contract damages, and at least $5 million for Banks' allegedly defamatory statements. Banks couldn't be reached for comment.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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