Timbaland and Swizz Beatz are suing Triller executives for allegedly failing to pay them $28 million (£23 million) after acquiring their music battle series Verzuz.
The record producers started Verzuz, in which two music stars are pitted against one another, on Instagram Live during the pandemic in 2020 and it became a runaway success. Officials at social media app Triller, which is similar to TikTok, acquired Verzuz for an undisclosed sum, which was to be paid in instalments, in January 2021.
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, lawyers representing Timbaland and Swizz claim that Triller made the first two payments but defaulted on the one due in January 2022.
When Triller missed the large payment to the Verzuz founders, they entered into a settlement and payment agreement. Under the terms of the deal, Timbaland and Swizz should have received $9 million (£7.4 million) each in March followed by $500,000 (£414,000) each every month for the following 10 months. However, according to the lawsuit, Triller has allegedly missed each of these payments.
“To date, Defendants have failed and refused to make any payment to (Swizz Beatz and Timbaland) of the past due sums due and owing,” the suit reads, reports The Washington Post.
The Verzuz founders, who were made shareholders in Triller’s parent company Triller Network in the acquisition deal, are suing for breach of contract. They are seeking compensatory damages of just over $28 million as well as legal fees, costs and pre-judgment interest, according to The Hollywood Reporter.