Estate of late Roots bassist Leonard Hubbard sues Questlove and Black Thought
Written by ABC Audio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on March 29, 2023
Questlove and Black Thought are facing a lawsuit filed by the estate of their Roots bandmate and bassist Leonard Hubbard. Rolling Stone reports Hubbard’s window is accusing the stars, as well as manager Shawn Gee and band employee Munir Nuriddin, of “advancing a continuing scheme to defraud” her and the estate. The suit also names Live Nation, Universal Music Publishing Group and other companies that have worked with the Roots.
According to the suit, Hubbard owned 17 percent stake in the group’s corporate entity, Grand Negaz, Inc.; 25 percent in a company handling the Roots’ recording and publishing; and 33 percent of the band’s touring performance company. But his estate allegedly hasn’t received his share.
Hubbard’s estate claims Questlove, Black Thought and others mentioned in the suit started bank accounts following Hubbard’s departure in 2007 and “through acts of forgery, wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, and criminal copyright infringement … received millions of dollars of ‘commissions’” from the band’s various entities.
They alleged that members “through a pattern of racketeered behavior, fraudulently converted, divested and absconded with monies lawfully belonging to the Plaintiff Decedent” starting in 2014.
The suit also claimed that beginning in 2013, Gee, Questlove and Black Thought “intentionally and fraudulently took control” of the finances and the band’s businesses, and formed a separate business in which they’d allegedly transfer funds from Grand Negaz without the estate’s consent and knowledge.
Hubbard’s widow and estate are seeking restitution for attorneys’ fees and the property, money and benefits that belong to Hubbard, as well as additional damages. They also want the Roots’ trademark to be frozen until the brand’s value is determined.
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