Nicki Minaj scored a small victory in her legal battle with Tracy Chapman with a judge siding with her over private text messages.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a Los Angeles judge has denied Chapman’s motion demanding Minaj turn over private communications with Funkmaster Flex.
In the suit, Chapman accuses Minaj of sampling her music without permission. She believes Minaj leaked the track to Funkmaster. She thinks the texts will prove her case.
In her motion, she claimed to learn new information during Minaj’s recent deposition. The court documents read, “Maraj’s deposition testimony made clear that she failed to produce many requested documents, including, but not limited to, (i) discoverable and responsive documents and correspondence maintained by her former manager, Gerald “Gee” Roberson (“Roberson”); and (ii) text messages with and a draft declaration sent to third-party Aston George Taylor, Jr. p/k/a Funkmaster Flex (“Taylor”).”
She added, “This is especially troubling and problematic given that Maraj’s correspondence with Taylor is crucial to determining whether Maraj violated Chapman’s copyright by distributing the Infringing Work to Taylor – a key element that goes directly to Chapman’s infringement claim, and the willfulness of Maraj’s wrongdoing.”
The judge decided Minaj does not have to turn over the messages at this point. The order read, “The Court also finds that Plaintiff has not shown a substantial need for the draft declarations. If a party may access information from other sources, substantial need is not shown.”
Minaj was ordered to hand over a log of documents she is withholding. Per the order, Chapman can refile her motion seeking the texts after she deposes Funkmaster Flex and obtains documents from third parties.
The case is ongoing.