Rap mogul Jay-Z is expected to get grilled on the witness stand over claims he reneged on a deal to promote his own perfume.
The 51-year-old artist, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is named in a breach of contract lawsuit filed by Parlux Fragrances accusing him of failing to peddle the Gold Jay-Z fragrance line under a 2012 agreement.
Jury selection in the civil case begins Monday.
Parlux filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court in 2016, claiming the “Empire State of Mind” rapper declined to push the perfume, including on “Good Morning America” and in Women’s Wear Daily. He’s also accused of refusing to do a promotional appearance at Macy’s.
The lawsuit claims it even pitched a contest involving a $20,000 perfume bottle with an 18-karat gold cap as the prize — only to have Carter reject the promotion and keep the prototype.
The company claims it lost $18 million in all because Carter allegedly didn’t live up to his end of the bargain — and names Carter and his company, S. Carter Enterprises, as defendants.
“The launch started out successfully and the product initially received rave reviews from Palux’s retailer customers,” the lawsuit, filed Jan. 25, 2016, says.
“However, in the fragrance industry, it is virtually impossible to sustain the success of a celebrity fragrance brand,” the lawsuit said, without “promotional support from the celebrity in the form of public appearances” and “regularly updating and refreshing the brand with ‘flanker’ launches and new line extensions.”
“Flanker” launches consist of “using new packaging, often new fragrance scents and some variation on the name of the originally launched brand,” the suit said.
Carter countersued, claiming he is still owed $2.7 million by Parlux in the deal.
The rapper already gave a video deposition in the case but at an Oct. 1 hearing, Judge Andrew Borrok said Parlux should call Carter as a live witness and “do this the old-fashioned way.”
Parlux attorney Anthony Viola said at the hearing that Carter would be his first witness.
“This should be sorted out pretty quickly now given the fact that Mr. Viola knows that I’m encouraging him to call the artist and the artist’s business manager,” Borrok said then. “So, the artist might be our first witness in the case if that’s what Mr. Viola chooses.”
It is unclear when the rapper will take the stand.
His attorney Alex Spiro declined to comment on the case Friday.
Parlux’s attorneys did not return a call seeking comment.