In the state civil-court lawsuit filed Friday, promotions company 800 Entertainment says it booked the rapper, whose real name is Trevor Smith, to perform at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Somerset, NJ, on April 21.
The company says it agreed to pay the “Touch It” artist $17,000 to perform just two to three verses from three of his songs.
But two weeks before the scheduled appearance, Busta Rhymes said he “couldn’t make the event because he had to be in court that day to answer a child-support warrant,” according to the lawsuit, which is seeking $2.1 million in damages.
The promotions company said it suspected that the rapper was lying about the warrant because he had been scheduled to perform for it on a Saturday — “and no federal courts are open on weekends.”
It confirmed its suspicions when company officials saw a flier the rapper promoted on Instagram touting a performance he was scheduled to do — the same night — at the International Boutique Nightclub in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to the lawsuit, which attached a copy of the Instagram post.
The company says Busta Rhymes repaid them his $17,000 performance fee but claims that he owes them $100,000 for breach of contract, $500,000 for lost revenue, $500,000 for emotional distress and $1 million for “punitive damages for willful breach” of contract.